Monday, March 8, 2010

Okay so I kind of ended my post last night right in the middle of a story...

After we left the beach house I will tell you life at the Sabella house was different. Sad. We tiptoe'd around my dad ALOT. He was a wreck. I remember deciding to go the funeral service at the last minute, originally the plan was going to be that I stay at the house and get everything ready with my Aunt. I don't remember my parents asking me if I wanted to go, I just know that the plan was for me to stay home. It was my grandma Nina that said I needed to go. I went to the church (or cemetery, not sure where the service was held) and I was standing at the door ready to walk in when I looked down at the end of the aisle and there was my dad leaning over Ronda's coffin holding on to her sobbing. Oh My God. Wow that was a life changing moment for me. For one, to see my dad that vulnerable, devastated and distraught was more than I was ready for. Then for two, seeing Ronda's body was NOT something I was prepared for. It was traumatizing. It was something that stayed with me for years. Every time I opened a closet, our big stereo cabinet, any closed, dark space I imagined her being in there.
It wasn't until I was much older that I really realized how much this whole situation affected me and literally changed me. It was the first time that I experienced a death so close to me, and at the time nobody I knew had ever been through such a thing, and since Ronda hadn't ever lived with me a lot of my friends didn't really know her, they knew of her but they didn't know her. So I had not one person to talk to about this. I certainly couldn't talk to my parents, my dad was still too sad, my mom and Ronda were not close and I didn't know how to approach her so I just kind of sucked it up and dealt with it.

After Ronda died, Mike moved out, and my parents had our dog put to sleep...
I was in middle school. I was not a big fan of middle school, I really wanted to either go back to elementary school or just go ahead and move on up to High School. Most of my memories from this time in my life are pretty vague. I do remember in 1982 I think, I would have to look it up, we had a big 50th wedding anniversary party for my grandparents. It was held at Rio Hondo Country Club, kinda swanky for Downey standards. It was an awesome night, we had so much fun. All of the family was there, and all of my parents friends too. I loved being around all of these people, there was always so much love, life and fun. My grandparents both came from a big family. I didn't write the word family by accident, they didn't come from two different families, they really came from one, they were cousin's. There. I said it. My grandma and grandpa were cousins. I know it's crazy, I know nowadays we think 'oh my gosh, so white trash' but remember, they were not Americans, there family was very traditional, and the bottom line is they loved each other so much. Anybody that was around them could see the love. I have cousins whom I don't even know very well who still to this day when they meet me or see me say things like "Nina and Chico were my idols, I always wanted a marriage like theirs."
So to the nay sayers and to the people who judge, so what if they were cousins, it was a different time and a different culture. All I know is that I am so proud to call them my grandparents (aren't they so cute?).
So knowing all of this it will probably come as no surprise when I say that in 1987 when my grandpa became ill with lung  cancer (he was an avid no filter camel smoker and had been a fire fighter for most of his adult life) my grandma was beside herself. When my grandpa finally passed away in March of 87 my grandma was devastated, she was only able to live without her sweet husband for a few months. She died in July of that same year. She lived long enough to see me graduate from high school.
Now that is a love story....


  1. i absolutely love everyone of those pictures. you are your grandpa's granddaughter for sure.
    yes, they were very cute.

  2. Okay, now I'm crying . . . On to more . . .


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