Today we gathered to celebrate the lives of our beloved Papa & Nana (Gene & Margarita Florence).
Nana left this earth 14 years ago, on July 8th, 2007 (7807… which was ironically the last 4 digits of mom’s childhood phone number).
Mom says Nana was the best teacher, a soccer, basketball and life coach, and an incredible cook who found her way to so many hearts through their taste buds and stomachs. She was a mentor, and a superhuman kind of selfless. She was a caretaker, peacemaker, and the bridge across languages, cultures and family. Nana was the Florence Family rock, their rock and roll, their everything. She is dearly missed.
Papa departed last year, on March 21… or 321 because our grandparents must have had a thing for numeric symbolism.
Papa was a tireless provider, a workaholic, a Mr. Fix It, and a lover of dogs. He was rough around the edges but a softie in the middle. Papa was always faithful, and the embodiment of strength even though he admitted, in the end, that “dying is not for sissies.”
Our grandparents worked hard to make everything happen, to do the right thing, to give anyone the shirts off their backs. They were a compass for strong values and strived to pass down intergenerational resilience instead of trauma. They taught my mom and aunts a lot about work ethic.
Papa and Nana always said they would sleep when they’re dead. Those who fight the good fight, like they did, deserve the good rest.
As we finally laid Nana and Papa to rest, mom reminded us that, although they physically left this world, they will live on forever in our hearts, in our memories, and in the future generations – like me and Genesee!
The world, our world, is better because they lived.
July 19, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. | Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery | Section 11, Grave 1D
Rest in peace and power, loved ones.