Not all grandmas are biological grandmas. Sometimes they are a friend or neighbor, and they become an adopted Grandma. That is the case with Clara, who was our adopted Grandma. When we moved to a new home with three little kids, we met Clara—our new neighbor who quickly became a dear friend. Clara and her husband, Lorenzo, lived just across the street from us. Lorenzo was a kind older gentleman, once you got to know him. He tended to be a little rough around the edges and a bit blunt. The first time he spoke to me he told me to get the loose tile on our roof fixed before it fell and killed my kid. The best compliment he ever gave me was that I reminded him of a strong and independent Italian woman (and I finally knew he liked me.)
We moved in when my daughter was just three years old. Paige liked the new found freedom of the area where we lived and would venture out to play and many times she would go across the street to Clara’s home. This became a frequent event. I learned that Clara would make Paige breakfast and they would visit or Paige would help Clara with the yard work. As time went by, Paige and Clara became very good friends. Several years later Lorenzo passed away, leaving Clara all alone. Clara started to come to birthday parties, dance recitals, family dinners, and other big events. This went on for years, until Clara became ill and her son, Victor, had to move in to be with her and care for her. Victor then also became part of our family.
In 2012, on Lorenzo and Clara’s wedding anniversary, Clara passed away. Just before she passed, Paige and I went to see Clara before leaving town and were saddened to see her so weak and frail, we only recognized her by her necklaces around her neck.
Today, we are still in touch with Victor. We asked his permission to do a GoodGrandma℠ Spotlight on our sweet adopted Grandma Clara. Although all of my children loved Clara, there was always a special bond between her and Paige.