Last month it was 40 years since I was welcomed into the Martini family.
The memories of holiday dinners, family get-togethers and shared vacations are the treasures of those years, and in my view, they all radiate from the loving heart and bright smile of Edna Martini. She constantly demonstrated the love that is the fabric of a strong family.
Over the years she gave us many tokens of that love. Some of them are: Her fried chicken, apple pie, and sandwiches for a trip. Her gifts of sewing and knitting, such as Marily's wedding gown, blankets for our newborn girls, and the hand-knit snow suits for Josi and Sarah when they were toddlers.
And she always sent a greeting card for every holiday and life event, well-embellished with her extra words of love in her hand of broad, curved letters that mimic her smile.
But the symbol of love I most welcomed has always been her person-to-person greeting with kiss and smile and genuine care.
Last Tuesday I talked by phone to Edna for the last time. Even then in her condition, the concern for me was apparent, as always. In her weak and minute voice she asked, “How is it going, dear?” This was the way she started most all her greetings.
She shared so much when she was with us. She knew that you can give love, but you can't give it away.
Nor can we take back what God has reclaimed in love and wisdom. So the richness of Edna's love is with us now and always as we remember it. Like a million dollar account, an interest of loving memories is ours always enriching our lives. Her smile, her kiss, the squeeze of my hand by hers. I cherish these always.
Thank you, Edna, for your gifts of love.
I was able to share this at her memorial service.