The Vote That Counts

My grandmother, Nonie, called Jordan “handsome,” both because she thought he was good looking and because she couldn’t remember his name. She was 99 years old.

It’s possible that one of the reasons she lived so long is because she wanted to make sure I found a man who would take care of me. She worried when the single women in her family were pushing past their marrying or childbearing age. So when I brought Jordan home, she was relieved. Not just because I met someone, but because I met the right one.

While I was never the type of girl to dream about flowers and dresses, there were two things I always wanted at my wedding: I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle and I wanted Nonie to be in the front row.

She started setting goals when she turned 80, saying, “I don’t want to be an old lady but I’ll give you till 85.” Then it was until 90, then 95. When I got engaged she started saying, “I just want to make it until Michelle’s wedding.”

She held strong, always asking what day it was, then calculating how many more days until my wedding day. I got married on October 19, 2012 and she was there. On the way from Troy to the Finger Lakes (about 3 hours), she asked my aunt if they were driving to Italy, but she made it.

Nonie at Wedding

The thing about marrying the right guy, after all the other not-right-for-you boyfriends, is that your family actually approves. I wasn’t the only one who knew Jordan was right; Nonie knew he was “the one” for me.

His green eyes and 5 o’clock shadow didn’t hurt. Even at 99, Nonie was a flirt. But she was also a great judge of character, and she could tell his smile was sincere. That said, her fondness for male vocals might have swayed her vote.

J singing to Nonie from Michelle Valenti on Vimeo.

Nonie passed away on December 4, 2013. I am forever grateful, not only that she got to meet my husband, but that he had the privilege of knowing her.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Ted Valenti says:

    Michelle, this is beautiful! Thank you for the reminder of these cherished memories. I know, in large part, she endured and persevered to see you walk down the aisle with Jordan!

  2. Ted Valenti says:

    As a matter of fact, we all approve of Michele. ,s choice. After all, he not only looks good, he washes dishes good too. Aunt mil

  3. Sharon Shalloo says:

    Nonie was such a special lady with such grace and style. And Smarts! The times I saw her over the years, she was as sweet to me as if I was her grand-daughter too. She certainly was very happy to see you find your special someone. I will always treasure getting to see her again at your wedding.

  4. Molly Bodensteiner says:

    Michelle, I have enjoyed seeing you so much this past year.You always have a smile on your face and leave me with a smile on mine. Happy Birthday dear niece. Have a great year

  5. Debbie and Mark says:

    What a beautiful send off for Noni. We had the privilege of meeting her at your wedding and what a lovely lady she was. I loved her smile! The apple does not fall very far from the tree! Sorry for your loss, Michelle. Condolences to your family as well. Love, Debbie and Mark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *