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Thoughts of My Wonderful Grandmother

April 26, 2014
Today and everyday, I remember the irreplaceable loving kindness of my grandmother. She was, by far, my biggest fan and the constant, gentle reminder that, in her opinion as my nana, I was the best- the smartest, most beautiful, and most talented- and could do anything I set my mind to do. I miss the comfort and joy of her presence: eating melon or a simple meal together, seeing her smile and laugh, talking with her about aromatherapy and foot reflexology, hearing her stories about her childhood and our family, feeling the warmth of her hug and kiss on my cheek, and so on and so forth. I recently sat a picture frame of my grandmother up on a shelf in my home. Constance was young, smart, beautiful, and talented in the photo. Full of potential. Full of grace. Striking. Everyone who visits me asks, "Who is that beautiful woman in that photo?". I proudly identify her as my grandmother, Constance, a constant presence, source of love, and female force in my life. As a mother now, I think back over my grandmother's life and think about her strong work ethic and sacrifices made for her family. I identify with her challenge of being a working mom and raising a family. Most of all, I carry her ability to love and be strong in the face of adversity. I am reminded today and every day, when I glance at her photo each morning, that each day is a gift and we should make each day count. In her memory, let's do that. Love, -Kiyana

My Growing Up Friend

May 29, 2012

My sincere condolences to Lester and sons and the entire Bernardo and Lane
families.  Connie was in my First Holy Communion class and many processions on certain Holy Days at Queen of Angels Church.   During our earlier years, we enjoyed roller skating, seeing the Ice Capades in New York,  etc.  I spent many fun times with the Lane family visiting South Beach, and cookouts at South Mt. Reservation.  When thinking of her I remember her gentle way,the twinkle in her eyes, and when we put on those records learning to do the Mambo and Cha Cha.  Those memories are still so vivid.  She will remain in my prayers as will the rest of her family.   Love and Peace        Dolly      

Treasured Moments

May 23, 2012

I treasure every moment
you spent in life with me. I hoped to have you longer,
but it’s not meant to be.

You left this world so suddenly.
I think my heart went too.
I feel so lost and lonely,
and I cry from missing you.

I know you’re in a better place.
I know you’re happy there.
I know one day I’ll join you,
but the wait is hard to bear.

My heart feels like its breaking
as I try to carry on. You were my life, my everything,
but now sweetheart, you’ve gone.

I’ll count the years until the time
I join you there above.
Where then we’ll be, eternally,
together again my love.

May 7, 2012

The Fallen Limb
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, "Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I'm counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don't worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes we're together again.


May 7, 2012

The last time that I spent a substantial amount of time with Aunt Connie and Uncle Juny was a few summers ago. (I say Aunt Connie and Uncle Juny because that's the way it has always all one salutation.)  Anyway, Rose and I took a drive to visit with them because I had not seen them in awhile.  We were all sitting out on the deck and kicking it about the good (and bad) old days.  We were laughing and telling stories for hours.  As Rose and I were getting ready to take our leave, we were stopped by Aunt Connie and Uncle Juny.  They said (probably in unison), "Oh, no, don't leave yet...we're gonna take you guys to lunch."  This was so typical of the two of them for two reasons.  One, because they always loved an opprotunity to share a great meal and two, they always had generous spirits and enjoyed showing loved ones a good time.
  When we got to the restaurant (after several stops, mind you, because they were also notoriously we sat down and Uncle Juny opened up one of the newspapers he had purchased.  After silently reading an article about gay marraiges being legalized in CT, he exclaimed, "Dag,  they gonna let them doggone gals get married in CT!"  We discussed the article for a minute and he went back to reading.  A few minutes later, he looked up and said, "Dag, they gonna let them dgoggone gals get amrried in CT!"  Rose and I cracked up because he was dead serious and we noticed that he had failed to mention the guys.  Aunt Connie rolled her eyes and looked at him with a little smile playing about her lips and said in her gentle voice, "Come on, Dad, you already told  us that.  Now put that paper down and order.  You can read that thing anytime.  We want to talk to Rose and Vicki."
  We went on to have a very nice lunch, from soup to nuts.  I will never forget that day.  Seeing them like that, quietly content and so in tune with one another is how I have always remembered them and How I always want to remember them.

Rest in peace, Aunt Connie

THE Bernardo Wedding

May 2, 2012

Thank you Keith and Rose for trusting me to photo-document your beautiful day.  It blesses me that you have been blessed by these pictures and that you treasure them.  That means I did my job.  What a happy day that was and look how happy Aunt Connie looks.  She is and will always remain beautiful.  Love Vennie


May 1, 2012

When I think of death, and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors. 

I can accept the idea of my own demise, but I am unable to accept the death of anyone else. 

I find it impossible to let a friend or relative go into that country of no return. 
Disbelief becomes my close companion, and anger follows in its wake.

I answer the heroic question 'Death, where is thy sting? ' with ' it is here in my heart and mind and memories.'

Maya Angelou


May 1, 2012

I want to express my empathy with this commiseration, from the bottom of my heart, to you Uncle Junie, Lester, Keith, and Tate.

My dear Aunt Connie – In Memory of You:  Thank you for being an integral part of the Bernardo family and truly the other/ better half of my father’s brother, my Uncle Juni, for so many years.  I always admired your multi-talents:  cake decorating, calligraphy, Chinese food cooking and even belly dancing, just to name a few!  We were all blessed to have had you in our lives. 

 May you rest in peace!

May 1, 2012

God’s Garden
God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, ‘Peace bethine’.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

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