My maternal Grandmother Nilda Rose was one of the most influential people in my life. Besides being the matriarch of our family she was an incredible woman of strength, integrity, courage and wisdom. Loving, caring and sharing were the words she lived by and instilled in our family. She and my grandfather George who died many years earlier were happily married for 55 years. Their love was an inspiration. Coming from a big extended Italian New York family of entrepreneurs and immigrants was a key ingredient that ignited the courage I needed to take the leap of faith on my transformational Edgewalker Journey. I was blessed to be a part of Nilda and George’s legacy as their first grandchild. It gave me the strength to follow my own path.
I always felt loved unconditionally by my Grandmother. I was seen, heard and met by her. She encouraged me to know my worth as it related to everything in my life – men, money, work, my body, my uniqueness, heart and soul. She was an advocate of strong women. Her influence over her 3 daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters (as well as the men in her lineage) left a profound mark on all of us.
Nilda Rose was 95 years old in the Summer of 2007 when I was on the Big Island. She was living in her home in Westchester County, New York outside of Manhattan where I grew up. Her mind was sharp, she still felt like 35 years old on the inside, yet her body was failing. She was tired.
One day in July she called me and shared that she felt complete with her life, yet she was concerned about leaving her family and conflicted about dying. My Grandmother was a deeply spiritual woman and had faith, so she was not afraid of dying, just of leaving. I reassured her that because of her Presence in our lives we were touched forever by her generosity, loving, caring and sharing. She had encouraged us to be a close family which we are to this day, down to 4 generations! It was as if she was looking for permission to transition to her eternal home. I told her it was OK to let go, that I loved her and thanked her for priceless contribution to my life. She could let go and be at peace if she chose.
A few days later I was sleeping with my friend Jim Channon in his bedroom. At 11 pm Hawaii time his mosquito net which was secured on a frame over his bed, fell on us out of nowhere and woke us up startled. It was strange as he mentioned he had never had that happen in all the years he had it over his bed. We went back to sleep and I was awoken early the next morning July 12th, 2007 from a call from my Mom in New York. My Grandmother has passed away at 5 am New York time which was 11 pm the night before in Hawaii. Jim and I felt it was my Grandmother who had knocked the mosquito net off it’s frame. I knew it was her communicating with me and saying goodbye.
I felt sad and grief over her loss. I also experienced peace and gratitude as I celebrated the incredible life of this amazing woman. She was free. I still missed to this day over ten years later. However, the deep bond, connection with my Grandmother and wisdom she shared, no matter where I travel, is at home within my heart forever. I am a better woman and individual because of her. Nilda had a life well lived!
**Lessons from my Grandmother Nilda:
* “This isn’t money this is love.” (She would write this on a post it note and put it on every bill and check she gave us!)
*Know your worth, especially as a woman! If you don’t no one else will. (She helped me to raise my fees in my business!)
*Always have a man love you a little bit more. In other words, when you respect and value yourself first you will attract a man who will do the same. Don’t settle for less!
*Family is wealth. Loving, caring, sharing. (When she looked at the generations of her family spending time together she would say, “I am a billionaire.”)