My Nonno Gene left us 29 years ago today, on a grey and gloomy October day. 29 years. I was 9 years old and I remember everything about the day. That all encompassing sense of loss for which words just don’t exist to explain. He was my pal, well beyond just a grandpa. I saw him almost daily, even though he ran a restaurant. We traveled with my grandparents frequently (like in this photo on the beach at Viareggio). I loved him to pieces. And in all honesty what I can tell you is that I miss his physical presence every single day, to this very day. I still cry on this day, every year. My mom and I share that moment without fail. But, what I can also tell you is that I feel him with me so often and it is almost palpable. There has always been a force in my life that has guided the path that unfolds before me, and I have always believed that has to do with my Nonno. Of course I wish he could be here and I could hear his voice and give him a hug, but that was not to be. And so, Nonno, I love you, and I carry you with me always. You have shaped my life. You shaped all of our lives. I am happy to know that every time someone speaks of your restaurant, they say your name, and it keeps you with us. Love you, Nonno ❤️

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