After Sabrina was born it had almost been a year since the passing of Giuseppe, and Cesarina and her best friend decided to go to Alaska together. We were all clenching our teeth with the decision. Marcella was going to go on vacation with Cesarina on a cruise ship with no escape.
Two weeks went by, and Cesarina was back at home in Oakland. We are not really sure about all the details but, the two would never see each other again after the trip. That same year Cesarina started selling all the property to travel alone. I will never forget what happened, and why I will always take a phone call from a friend from now until I die.
It was one of the hottest days I ever experienced in Oakland. We didn’t have air conditioning, because most of the time no one really needs it. Anyway, I was perspiring to no end. The kids were down for a nap, and I finally had time to watch the movie I had rented for myself. I wanted to watch “Italian For Beginners”, I just began the movie, and five minutes into the movie, the phone rings. Ugh! I just want to watch the movie. It keeps ringing, and I go to answer it. It is Marcella. Hello, Kimberly, Yes, I said, this is she. I tell Marcella, I am watching a movie, can I call you back in after the movie. Marcella said, “Kimberly, this is important, can I talk to you now.” I thought, wow, I never have time to watch a movie and I have to talk on the phone right now. I said one more time, I really just want to finish the movie, the kids are taking a nap, the movie is a subtitled movie, so no one is going to watch it with me. She interrupted me, and said “This is really important, and I really need YOU to listen to me. Ok, I said. Go ahead and tell me.
She asked if I was sitting down, and I said “no, it’s too hot!” She said, “You may want to sit down for this.” I grabbed the stool beside the phone, and sat on the stool. I told her, Ok! I am sitting down. She told me “Kimberly, I am dying, I have cancer, and I don’t have long to live. She also made me promise not to tell Cesarina. I was shocked! She was one of the sweetest people I knew, and she was dying.
The next day was Sunday, and we were supposed to go across the street to go to dinner at Cesariana’s house. Before we even left for her house. I asked Roberto to tell her, so I wouldn’t betray Marcella.
We ate dinner, just a nice cool salad with cannelloni beans, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, Italian parsley and basil with a little olive oil. It’s a great salad for another hot day!
Then, I looked at Roberto, and he wouldn’t maintain eye contact. I was just wanting to signal to him to tell Cesarina. I asked Cesarina “Have you heard from Marcella?” She said no, and she didn’t care. Roberto said “Mom, Marcella is sick, she has cancer, and doesn’t have long to live.” She responded “She is probably faking, and just wanting me to call her.” Did she call you? She asked Roberto, and Roberto said “no”. Roberto told Cesarina that Marcella told Kimberly. Cesarina was adamant about never hearing about Marcella, and Marcella did not want to hear about Cesarina.
The two ladies that were such good friends for so long never saw each other again. I’m sure the argument that they had was pretty trivial, and it taught me that most things we fight about aren’t worth holding a grudge. We never know where life is going to take us, forgive your friends! Take their phone calls, even when it seems that may be your time…if your friends need you, be there!