Funerals are a time of grief, many tears, and also of recalling the touching and funny ordinary events that happen over a lifetime. Emilio’s funeral celebrated a life well lived and well loved. From the very start, I felt welcome, and I feel blessed to be included in such a large, loving family through marriage. One of my cherished memories, as I blended into Ed’s family, is of making lasagna, shortly after we married, for everyone at our house. Everyone was complimenting me, and—since this is the Italian side of Ed’s family—I was very pleased.

Until I mentioned that—in hoping to make the meal healthier—I had used “turkey Italian sausage.”

There was dead silence for a few seconds. I realized then that in an Italian family there is no such thing as “turkey Italian sausage.”