The world lost a beautiful soul on January 24th, 2022. Anna Santore, who I am lucky enough to call my Grandmother, had her eternal ascent into heaven after battling a myriad of illnesses over the last five-plus years.
My Grandmother was the strongest, wittiest, most unbelievably gorgeous person in the entire world. A woman who, despite battling a supposed “subtraction of the quality of life”, thrived as she aged and stayed a pillar for an entire family and community until the age of 84 (and until infinity).
In a way, my Grandmom acted as an angel while still on Earth; She gave a little piece of heaven to those around her in every action of every day. No matter what room my Grandmom walked into, the radiance of greatness and beauty followed her and attracted the presence of every single person around her.
Grace and elegance were my Grandmother’s middle name; Whether it was her outfits that resembled those of a movie star, her hair that was done every single week until she physically couldn’t make it to the salon anymore (like, last week), or her patented glasses that she wore for the majority of her life that made her look like a celebrity trying to gain serenity in privacy, Anna Santore proved that age is truly just a number.
But my Grandmom’s greatest trait – and she had many – was the love she had for our Family. I cannot even express the feeling of warmth she gave us all every single time we had the chance to be with her or talk to her; A feeling of love so strong it was felt just as much in Chicago as it was in South Jersey.
Even in the worst of times, my Grandmom knew exactly what to say and help us get through it. And after she made us feel better, we knew to expect a friendlyreminder to “not go out at night alone,” “watch out for pick-pocketers – they’re everywhere,” “wear sunscreen on that beach,” and my personal favorite “you better not be up on that roof!”
The pain in my heart right now is greater than I can even begin to express, but the thought of a woman as strong and beautiful as Anna Santore looking over my Family and I forever is the most amazing feeling in the world.
When I was little I gave my Grandmom a school project with a note saying that she was “the prettiest flower in the whole wide world.” She liked to bring that up every single time she saw me. I am so happy I made that project and made her feel that way, because it’s the truest statement I have ever made in my life.
Rest in Peace to The Prettiest Flower That Ever Was, Anna Santore, Co-Best Grandmother in the World (along with her favorite Pong Partner, Sally Hoffman):
James, Nikki, Vinnie, Natalie, Alyssa, Brad and the rest of your beloved family
We love you, we miss you, and we will never forget you. (And we’ll be sure to take just as good care of Poppy as you did!)
P.s. In 2014, you and Poppy left me a voicemail singing Happy Birthday. I saved that message so don’t you worry, I still got to hear your beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday this year. <3
Obituary and donations for St. Jude’s (in lieu of flowers):