S: Anna Terranova
BC: To: My Beautiful Cousin Joanne (Giovanna Gaglio) Kelsey I love you! Your cousin - Maria
FC: Anna Terranova | "Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry."
2: Anna is one of the strongest women I know! Life brought her much happiness but also sadness. As a child she lost her mother, she was lucky enough to be adopted by her Aunt Giovannina and Uncle Francesco Terranova. Anna was not a perfect person (none of us are), she was feisty and she had a mouth like a sailor. She could hold her own, she was small but tough. Most importantly she was a servant of God! She took care of everyone. She helped my Grandma Giovannina raise her four children, Frank, Angelo, Fina and Nina. She loved them very much. Unfortunately sickness took their lives and she out lived them all. She continued serving through their children. I have been blessed to have a wonderful relationship with Anna. When I was a child I lived near her, so I spent a lot of time at my Grandma's house. I would walk to her house from school and she would be waiting at the end of the sidewalk for me. She loved to give us treats. She would always have Hershey Kisses in her apron pocket or she would hide them in the house so that we could go find them. She taught us to play spoons and "scupa" (Italian card game). I have learned many things from her. For thirteen years she lived in Wisconsin. I would try to visit her yearly, at which, I had the honor to cook with her. She was such a good cook. She would start cooking sauce at 5am or earlier and let it cook slowly and low all day long. Did I mention the cookies? We spent 12 hours making them. Well worth it! I feel sad because she was the end of that legacy, but I feel very blessed that she was part of my life. I loved her dearly! Giovanna Kelsey (quote written from a book in the Hospice House room)
4: Our Time with Anna Joanne and I were so blessed in the two weeks and two days we had with Anna. We laughed, we cried, we even got scared. Anna's way of communicating with us, was with her face expressions, the nodding of her head yes and no, and her hilarious expressions with her eyebrows brought us great joy and pain. This book is written to the best of our recollections. We write this with love and respect for our beloved Aunt - Anna
5: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | Vicki Terranova was wonderful to Joanne. always calling and texting her just at the perfect time.
6: Grandma Giovanina & Grandpa Francesco Terranova
7: Anna's Two Week Journey Begins | Anna;s journey began on Thursday, April 21, 2011. She arrived at the Zeeland Hospital at 3:00p,m. The doctor gave her two hours to live. Joanne was trying to get a hold of me frantically saying she couldn't do it alone and make the hard decisions she had to make by herself. I wasn't going to let her do it alone. I went immediately. I first went to support my cousin fully, little did I know how the events of the two weeks made me realize I no longer was just doing this for my cousin but I did do this for my aunt, who deserved my respect and time. At 6p.m. the hospital removed her oxygen, she also received Tylenol for her fever, an antibiotic for her urinary infection, and they removed her IV for her dehydration. The hospital moved her to a private room upstairs. Anna got better, all on her own. Joanne was amazing, never leaving Anna's side, she stayed by herself that evening in the hospital with Anna. Joanne had a horrible night, sleeping from the couch to the recliner. Anna survived the night and her vitals got better. Hospice came to help at night but Joanne refused to leave. Anna was a fighter, she amazed us all with her strength and her will to live.
8: Anna and I never had a bonding relationship in this life, and that was okay, because the weeks I had with her and my cousin made up for it. I will forever treasure this special time with my aunt. She sacrificed herself for so many it was my pleasure to give back to her. Even though she was at times incoherent, I know she felt us in the room. At times we were blessed with her ability to wake up for a few moments and acknowledge us and our questions for her. I got to witness the most precious and beautiful moments of seeing and hearing my brother Frank and cousin Joanne express such love and compassion for her. What a gift to be there and witness such love. I am honored to be there to comfort her and for her not to feel alone. Thank you Anna for our memories of childhood and for the most wonderful weeks we could have shared. Love - Maria (quote written from a book in the Hospice House room)
9: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers | Saturday, May 23, 2011 My first night sleeping with my cousin and Anna was at the hospital. My cousin Joanne was delirious. she had a cocktail from her friend Carol. She was starring at me and it scared me, I asked her why she was starring at me. She started to laugh so hard that it scared me even more.
10: OF ANNA TERRANOVA | Sunday, May 24, 2011 Easter Aunt Debbie came to sit with Anna so we could go to Easter with our families. Frank went to relieve her for a few hours. Joanne and I spent the last night at the hospital with Anna.
11: When I spend time with or thinking about Anna my mind races a million miles an hour. I can't write fast enough of all the things and feelings that are going on. But when its all said and done 2 things stand out, her faith and her family. For a women who had no children she took care of more than any of us. Her love for us all started when she lost her mother and was raised by our grandparents. Thats where her legacy begins-helps raise our mothers & fathers and when they have children - help raise them. And when we had children-helped us one way or another raise them. For all of us it was Hershey Kisses. For me it was panni & latte - scupa - spitini with 7up. Thinking of those things brings such a warm feeling in my heart and soul. In her love for her family she would also comfort | our mother and fathers when it was time for them to go home. As I sit with her now I see what she says "Eo a forsa di a lioni". "I have the strength of a lion". that comes from her faith. God has blessed her with a long life - has blessed us with the love she gave us and I will always cherish all that time. My heart will be sad when she leaves us, but I will rejoice knowing that she will be home with God, and be with all of her family that went before her. I thank God for having Anna in mu life as long as I did pg 1 | and that her legacy will continue. Faith and Family - the 2 most important things in our lives. I love you Anna with all my heart, my cousin - Godmother and a second mom. Frank (quote written from a book in the Hospice House room) pg 2
12: Monday, April 25, 2011 Anna got the wonderful opportunity from hospice to move into the Hospice House of Holland. The moment Joanne and I walked in, we knew our Uncle Angelo and Uncle Frank had their hands in the making this happen for her. It was beautiful. Joanne was in awe, and I cried, I couldn't control it. We felt she deserved to be there to die with dignity and love.
13: Hospice House of Holland is filled with light, love, comfort and warmth. The staff and the atmosphere were exactly what was needed.
14: Karen and Carol I've met some wonderful people during this time. Karen with her angelic voice and Carol with her wonderful snacks. But whats more important is the gift they gave Anna by staying with her when we couldn't, and the love they shared with us for Anna. They treated her as she was their own family. Thank God for blessing us with such angels!
15: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 Anna woke up and Joanne showed her a picture of Mary holding Jesus, she immediately responded and we were able to ask questions. She answered many but with one question she blew a hard horrible breath in Joanne's face. I immediately walked away as to not laugh in her face, but Joanne couldn't hold it in and laughed hard in Anna's face. Anna responded with a look on her face and eyebrows up with the expressions of "what the hell?" Of course my lovely cousin said to her "Maria, she never changes". And of course Anna gave her a big expression and a huge nod in agreement. Thanks for the last jab, it was hysterical and priceless! | We asked Anna if she was ready to see God and Mary and she responded with a big nod of yes and tears. She cried, we cried. This week we laughed with her, cried with her, and went through fear with her.
16: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. | When Anna was alert she would love to look at Joanne. She wanted so much to be able to speak to her but it was only nods of yes and no' and her eyebrows that talked to her. On one occasion Anna winked at Joanne. One of the most wonderful things I saw was Anna giving my cousin Joanne a kiss on her cheek. Precious!!! . | At the beginning Anna would grunt and shake her head no when she was displeased. When my cousin would tell Anna that she was going to work she would grunt at her. We laughed. I would tease Joanne with that grunt so much that I ended up doing it all the time without even thinking - thats what I get!
17: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Joanne took this picture and sent it to Vicki, Linda and me. Vicki told Joanne to stop sending her pictures of Anna saying she was going to have nightmares and Linda said to stop because she was freaking her out. Joanne wrote on my picture saying "I miss you - come back here." I sent the photo back to Joanne saying "Dove vi? Las Vegas grrr NO! Tu stara con me per sempre!""She was hysterically laughing when she sent all those photo's to everyone and Joanne was wearing a shirt that said "seriously funny". She was delirious.
18: Wednesday April 27, 2011 There was many amazing nurses on staff at the Hospice House. One of Joanne's favorite nurse was a cute little hispanic girl. She was feisty like Anna. She came in to give Anna the gift of a deep cleaning. When she began Anna gave her one of her famous growls, the nurse decided to growl back. It was perfect. Anna didn't growl again and the nurse washed her hair and cleaned her throughly. Anna loved it! So did Joanne. | Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Joanne and I went to the chapel to pray. While we were praying the lights in the chapel got brighter and brighter. Joane on another day in the chapel experienced seeing the light shine right through the stain glass during the early morning hours that made the colors make soft rays appear in the room. A room filled with peace and love.
19: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Joanne's Dream Joanne dreamt she was sitting at a high table with me and Anna, at a place where you could gamble. We were playing some type of lotto. I didn't win, Joanne never found out if she won or what the numbers were, and Anna won. Anna gave Joanne half of her winnings then took a $100 bill back from her and gave her a $50 and some other money and told her to split it with me. (the money did come and it helped tremendously with gas!) | Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Maria's Dream I dreamt that Anna and I were in the hospice room and I could see her body laying in the bed but her spirit was up getting things ready. She looked healthy and younger and I told her that Joanne never left her side, I felt her pride and love for Joanne and her gratefulness that I was there. It was a lovely dream.
20: Thursday, April 28, 2011 The Day We Felt Our Mothers | That morning I was looking in the mirror and I could feel my mom. I felt for the first time ever in my life being proud to be my mother's daughter. Joanne in the same morning, looked in the mirror and felt and saw both our mothers in | her face, it happened twice. Joanne and I felt very blessed that our mothers came to visit us that day. it was wonderful to feel them within us. It was a proud moment for both of us.
21: Friday, April 29, 2011 Good Friday Anna was gurgling and struggling to get a breath a couple of minutes before 4am. She ended up screaming or yelling loudly. I was up and I called out Joanne's name softly. Joanne was in the chair next to Anna with the pillow up to her mouth and her eyes shifting back and forth with fear says "what the hell was that?" We didn't find it funny at the time but the reenactment left us in tears of laughter. | "What the hell was that?" | "Joaaaannne?"
22: Friday, April 29, 2011 The Day Linda Slept Over Joanne fell asleep, Linda and I stayed up talking on the couch bed. Before we went to bed I mimicked what the nurses did at night starting at midnight, two, four, and six a.m. Linda thought I was being silly. As we laid in bed at midnight the nurse came in and we became quiet pretending to be asleep and we watched the nurse do exactly what I said they did. Linda couldn't believe how accurate I was. We laughed really hard. That next morning Linda thanked me for sleeping with her. I laughed and said NO! | Anna, I will never forget the time when I went to Wisconsin I stayed with you for a short while we would sit and talk about life and you shared memories about my mom with me. When I came to visit you at hospice I was told that you opened your eyes occasionally, I knew you could hear my | voice. I told you that I had to go to work I gave you a kiss on your cheek, you opened your eyes and started to cry. You tried to talk to me, I told you it was ok and that I knew you loved me. Thank you I feel so blessed that you gave me that last good bye. - Linda Gaglio (quoted from funeral home site)
23: Saturday, April 30, 2011 The cardinals were always around after this day. The room was beautiful and the birds were a wonderful touch. I told Joanne that I prayed that if Anna's time was close to send the cardinals. Today was the first time Joanne saw the cardinal in the window, she called me and told me to come. It was a beautiful sight. | Terranova
24: Saturday, April 30, 2011 The Creepy Man Ok maybe he wasn't crazy but he was not mentally right. I had seen him a day prior to Joanne. He gave me the ebby jebbies. The next day I didn't see him but at 4a.m. I heard the nurse outside our room in a very frightened voice ask him what he was doing. He answered he was going for a walk. She told him he wasn't allowed over here (by our room) still speaking in a frightened voice. It frightened me so much I didn't sleep the rest of the night. My cousin woke up to tell me that she was dreaming of a man coming into our room and gave her a hug and that he was not right mentally, and that she was scared. She also remembered feeling his stomach touch her while hugging in the dream. I told her what had happened in the night. That evening we saw him in the cafe. I told her to look at his stomach, her face expression was priceless! CREEPY CREEPY MAN!!! | Sunday, May 1, 2011 The Creepy Man Joanne and I were walking Karen out to her car. On our way back to Anna's room, the creepy man came out from his room just as we got to the corner. It startled us both and Joanne yelled "Santa Maria!" I RAN!
25: Sunday, May 1, 2011 Anna's legs, hands, and arms started molting - I think that is the word. Nurse Emily insisted she would not come back from that! | Sunday, May 1, 2011 Miracle Day! Joanne prayed the rosary with Anna one day, I prayed the rosary with Anna a different day. Today we prayed the rosary with Anna together, it was wonderful and powerful. We thought Anna was near the end. Carol and Karen were there that night. My sister Joanne showed up too. Karen always sang Amazing Grace to Anna. Each of us held hands together and Joanne and I held Anna as we all prayed for her together. Then Karen topped that night singing the Our Father. Truly beautiful! | Sunday, May 1, 2011 While Joanne and I were praying the rosary, Karen was trying to get a hold of a priest. She ended up getting into an argument with the on call priest. Sister Marianne told us we were doing good with praying the rosary. Anna's legs, hands. arms returned to normal color after our prayer. Nurse Emily said she never seen anyone come back from that, she was shocked. Joanne did not want Anna to pass her son's birthday. Miracles Do Happen!
26: Joanne and I had spent so much time together that we started saying things at the same time! Like the need for drugs to calm our nerves when Anna was having a bad day. | Anna would sometimes give us the "Ma Vedo?" look with her eyebrows and eyes. Hysterical!
27: Anna when I think of her I think of all the family that she loved and cared for. I remember when we went to Wisconsin to visit, we went to the Mall of America. Anna went with us, we wanted her to sit in a wheel chair but she refused. She spent the whole day with us walking in that mall. She never complained. She would come up to my pizza place once in a while and she would push me out of the way and just take over. She would do three things at once..she was amazing! I would bring my son to the nursing home to visit her and she was happy to see him. She just wanted to hold and play with him. She even asked me if she could keep him. She will be greatly missed. Ina Bergsma (quoted written from a book in the Hospice House room) | Monday, May 2, 2011 My brother Tony helped Joanne and I today by taking the shift at 11am. Joanne told him that Anna was waiting for her to leave for her to pass. She said she felt that she would pass while she was flying over Lake Michigan. Tony waited for Frank before leaving Anna. Frank spent the night with Anna. Little did we know it was her last night.
28: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 The Day Anna Passed After a hard night, Frank got up early to get ready to go home to take Frankie to school. Before he left he told Anna that he needed to go and that the angels were waiting for her to take her back home and that she needed to go with them. Ten minutes after he left he got the phone call from Hospice saying that Anna passed away. Anna died still warm and no signs of death other than her breathing. At 6:05 a.m. Joanne was flying over Lake Michigan - nervous over the flight and Anna. She prayed that God would take Anna. In Chicago her phone rang, it was Hospice informing her of Anna's passing. Joanne's premonition of Anna dying while on her trip came true. | Anna, I came to see you when you went to the Zeeland Hospital. You were not alert but I told you that Paolo, Zina, and Giuseppe were with me. You responded with your facial expressions. You always loved kids. Zina kept asking me after that day to come back to see you. You have that special thing with children and I remember that when I was little. Thank you. I came to see you on Sunday, May 1. I talked to you and you wanted to talk back to me. I heard you. Thank you for that. You died on May3, Tuesday but you are now with God. Joanne (Giovanna) LoGiudice (quote written from a book in the Hospice Room) | Tuesday, May 3, 2011 My sister Joanne and I went back to Hospice and in the parking lot a cardinal flew right in front of us.
29: Saturday, May 7, 2011 The Funeral Anna looked at rest. She had her new clothes, cross and rosary, she looked beautiful. Her coffin complimented her with the photo of Jesus and the Last Supper. A photo Joanne saw on her first day of her trip. The flowers were all beautiful. Joanne's favorite arrangement was of her brother Joey's. The funeral seemed to have been set around the three of us, Joanne, Frank and myself. Frank did all the readings, the three of us closed the casket, Joanne and I folded and unfolded the blessed blanket covering the casket. Joane and I also brought up the offerings. Joanne carrying the wine and I had the bread. Frank cried when reading the prayer of remembrance where he was to mention our family that had past. Joanne and I walked up to him to be supportive. | Karen sang the first song "Our Father" and ended the ceremony with Anna's favorite "Amazing Grace". I couldn't help but cry. Karen singing to her at the Hospice House to ending the funeral with her beautiful voice singing the same songs. We went to the cemetery. At the end Uncle Ross prayed an Italian prayer that he prayed at the beginning of this journey with Anna. After he was finished it couldn't had been planned more perfectly with the presence of the cardinal bird flying right pass all our eyes! Full circle from beginning to end. Thank you God for all of our blessings!