Helen Carrocci

My Aunt, Helen Carrocci, passed away at 12:01 this morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. She endured several cancers during her lifetime, beginning with lung cancer nearly fifteen years ago and ending with liver cancer.

I would love to post some recent photographs of her, especially those from Christmas. Our desktop has a “program nervous breakdown” yesterday and I can’t access any of my files. Aunt Helen always hated profile pictures; she thought her nose looked terrible. I happened to have thought her face, profile or not, was an interesting study. None-the-less, she fussed at Linda (her daughter) and I on Christmas night and then posed primly on the couch to help us capture her “good side”. I must admit, the pictures did turn out cute.

I am certain that her obituary will contain all of the marvelous things that she has done over the years. She was a hellion, a fighter, a crusader, and often a pain in the ass. Please don’t think that I am being at all disrespectful - she described herself in this way and I couldn’t agree more.

She spent most of her final time on earth sleeping. Better Half and I visited the day before yesterday and she was wide awake for a change. I hugged her, held her hand, and cried a bit as I told her how happy I was to see her awake. Better Half and I teased her a little, and she gave us guff back (just like old times) before she finally shooed us with a sassed, “you people!”

Aunt Helen gave me a look as we were taking our leave. It seemed to say, This is it, kid. I almost didn’t turn back. Aunt Paul was almost blocking the way (unintentionally, as she was merely standing there.) Something said, Go and so I turned around and gave her a warm hug and a kiss, receiving a hug and kiss in return.

My last memory of Helen Carrocci is one of animated spirit and humor. That single afternoon washed away all the sad memories of a pale and gaunt woman lying upon a cold deathbed.

I do not know what the new family paradigm shall be. I have no idea what insane fallout will occur between myself and my cousins. With the exception of a few, most are aloof and never bother to call. I honestly do not care.

I hold on to the precious knowledge that my Aunt no longer suffers; she is at rest.

Cousin Nikki's wedding

From L to R: Aunt Pauline (Katzfey, Helen's oldest sister),

Teresa Blackburn (Helen's granddaughter),

Linda Blackburn (Helen's daughter),

Aunt Helen, me, Noreen Carrocci (Helen's daughter)

My mother, Lu Mininni-Totin, was unable to make the trip.

1 responded with...:

Roadchick said...

She sounds like a wonderful lady. I, too, hope to be "a hellion, a fighter, a crusader, and often a pain in the ass" until the very end.

I read her obituary at the funeral home site and she was amazing. I think I would've liked her a lot.

I'm so sorry for your loss, but how lucky you were to have her!