She was Beautiful.

img214Kathy Nasrallah was my mother-in-law, she was my friend and she was beautiful.

She left this world on November 4th 2013. She was an incredible woman who I could speak about for hours. I believe this is the story she would wish people to hear of her. I love you Kathy, and I hope I do you proud!

Many years ago when my wife Yvonne and I were dating, it became time to meet her parents. I was just a little nervous. As soon as we arrived at her parents’ house, Yvonne’s mother, Kathy came to meet me and was incredibly hospitable. We went there to eat dinner.

Kathy was very accommodating to everyone. Several of her family members had dietary constraints. Some of the people there were vegan, or could not eat this or that for one reason or another, and she catered to them all.

I did not recognize many things there as food. I was halfway through everything and had yet to put anything on my plate. Kathy came over to me and walked me by everything as she explained what was in everything. We came up with a few things I liked, but Yvonne, and I still had to stop on the way home for me to get something more to eat. Yvonne later told her mother of this.

The next time I was there to eat, many of the same things were there. I got a plate and started, and Kathy jumped up in a panic and said to me, “Wait, wait Tom, you come over here!” I did this immediately of course, thinking something was wrong, but there was nothing wrong. She brought me to one of three crock-pots she had going, and in this crock-pot were three whole turkey legs that she had been slow cooking all day just for me. I asked her, “Kathy did you do this just for me” her reply was, “Yah and they are all yours. Nobody else better even think about putting their grubby hands on them!”

doorKathy had an amazing sense of humor and I think the thing I will miss most about her is her laugh. Her laugh was like few others. It was high pitched and from her belly. It would completely take over her when it happened, and when it ended, she always had something to add. Making her laugh was something I always set out to do whenever I was around her. She herself was very funny, and she was always interested in what other people had to say.

Kathy had an amazing tolerance for all people. It made no difference what a person’s color, nationality, culture or lifestyle may have been. Kathy would embrace them all, and with great interest, absent any judgment.

This is also the way she demanded others treat her. She spoke her own way, using her own hands offcolorful words. She told it like it is, and had a low tolerance for specific types of bullshit. For instance; if ever you would have a problem or if you were conflicted, and you did not want to admit something to yourself, or something you preferred lying to yourself about, you could always count on Kathy to tell you that you were full of shit. She provided many fine services such as this.

Picture7I never heard her say it aloud, but knowing her as I did, I don’t imagine she would argue with someone who would say that life is not worth living if it is not clean and organized. I think she cleaned something every day of her life.

She was also a huge fan of the 3 X 5 index card. There were 3 X 5 index cards everywhere in her home. They would explain what other people were to do and sometimes if she had enough room, she would even include why. “Keep this door closed. The Cat will get out.”

When the 3 X 5 index cards were not successful, she would even be so courteous as to upgradePicture9 them. Once she had a plate of hamburgers in the refrigerator that she had bought for herself at the grocery store. She placed a 3 X 5 index card on it that simply read “NO”. Well, someone was obviously not clear as to what that meant, so she upgraded it to read, “FU#K NO!!!” She would always take that extra measure to ensure that she communicated clearly.

Picture10While it is true, Kathy had a unique way of speaking to people and yes she would sometimes appear to have a rough exterior, this was for the most part the exception to the rule. Kathy was incredibly empathetic, and compassionate soul. She made me feel like a part of their family the first time I met her. She loved and cherished everyone in her family above all else.

It is my belief that Kathy is in Heaven. I suspect she is enjoying meeting all the new people from all over the world who have arrived before her. I am sure she is being treated in a fashion in which she has always treated others, and I suspect that she is getting some strange looks from those who are going to have to get used to the idea of 3×5 cards disrupting the scenery. In her absence earth just won’t seem quite as clean.

As for us that knew her; this will be a period or sorrow and of emptiness, but I think perhaps it is a greater injustice for those that did not ever know this extraordinary woman.

I am certain that our family will make it. I believe that we will all honor her by doing the thing that she did better than anyone I have ever known. That is keeping our family close. It is my hope; we will celebrate every birthday, and holiday together as a family. If Kathy taught us anything, it is that.

Everything Kathy was, is and ever shall be, in our family forever. Her life was a life of service to her family. I hope that everything she said, and taught us on this world, will be echoed through eternity by the way we will live our lives.

Goodbye Kathy, We will see you soon.



35 thoughts on “She was Beautiful.

  1. papillonkissed

    What a moving tribute Mr. Nardone. It brought a tear to each eye, Yes, I think you did her proud. I know I regret not knowing her! I hope your write my story when I go! Love you Tom Tom. p}!{k


  2. Jason Bennett

    Tom, love you like you were my own brother. You were so well spoken on Sunday, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when you were done speaking. You and your family know I am here if you need me, anytime day or night.

    Tom, so much life goes by without being said and I am the worse one when it comes to that. I have been referred to as “emotionally constipated” many times. Anyway, you really got me thinking Sunday and I have something to tell you.

    A little over three years ago, when my father was fighting cancer I told him he wasn’t going through it alone. Shorty there after I shaved my head. I remember telling you about my new hairdo and less than an hour later you showed up at my house just as bald as I was. You said you couldn’t let me go to work without both of us being bald. Never in my life have I had a friend like you.

    When my dad passed, you came to the funeral. Tom, I know from the pain I could see on your face it was bring up memories of the loss of your own father. But you were still there for me. Thanks.


    1. @iamtomnardone Post author

      Jason, Thank you. I would not look at you any differently if you were my own brother. I love you too, and I was proud to go to work with a bald head. I was proud to tell people why I had a bald head.

      I didn’t have a thought in my head about anybody showing up at Yvonne’s moms funeral. I did not tell anyone when or where it was because it did not occur to me. When I saw you walk in the door, I was very moved and I am still. We are getting through all of this just fine, but your willingness to be there is not lost on me. I appreciate it.

      Thanks for everything you have done. If I should need you I shall call.

      Your brother,
      Tom Nardone.


      1. MichelleMarie Antell

        I saw this on JeanneMarie’s blog. I love when she reblogs then I get to meet new bloggers with a wonderful message such as this. Family moving past things is a big thing. Death of a loved one always brings to the forefront so many issues I pray your family sift through the memories and you are richer having does do. Blessings to you in your time of grief!


        1. @iamtomnardone Post author

          Thank you for that. Jeannie is generous to reblog this post. I have been a little busy with my book and my family I am afraid I have neglected many people I read regularly. I look forward to reading you and her just as soon as I get out of the hole around here.

          You sound an extraordinary lady and your thoughtfulness and that of the WordPress community never ceases to amaze me.


  3. Dawn

    What a wonderful tribute to such a unique and beautiful individual. I loved the 3×5 cards throughout the page. I could picture being in her kitchen and hearing her laugh. I only met her on a few occasions and she was just as you stated, nonjudgmental yet very interested to learn about the person her daughter was hanging out with. I am so sorry for your loss and I wish I could just hug Yvonne hard. I can’t even begin to imagine what your family is experiencing. Thanks for sharing about her and letting me peek into her world. It made me smile and cry.


  4. Nadine Steidl

    I’m just laying here, amazed at the beauty of the woman who was made real to me by your words. It’s certainly no wonder why Yvonne is the person she is with such a beautiful, creative, no-bullshit Mother. I sometimes hate the age I am, 48, because I have to deal with parents leaving my life through death. I’ve dealt with this with my father and father in law so far, and I know there more funerals. I know that Kafhy will live in your hearts. What an incredible woman. Thank you for sharing who she was on this planet with me. And, yes, I completely know, in my heart, that you and Yvonne will see her again.


  5. Amanda

    Very sweet memorial ,Tom. I hope I can make people feel as accepted as she did. Give Yvonne a big shiny hug from me.


  6. TIA

    What a beautiful tribute to your mother in law…it was absolutely beautiful! Having recently gone through a similar situation, I can imagine a little of the pain you all must be feeling! I feel that you are all looking at it the way we did…it’s a tragedy, but something that is bringing you together as a family, instead of the opposite! I’m so sorry for the loss, for both yourself and your wife! Please know that you are in my prayers and thoughts during this trying time!



  7. Sweetbriar

    Tom, she sounds like a great lady, and now that you’ve shared her sweet, quirky ways with us, I look forward to meeting her one day. Until then, God bless and keep you all.


  8. ksbeth

    i’m sorry for your loss yvonne and tom. this is a wonderful post and an amazing, loving tribute to a unique and wonderful woman. i love the 3 x 5 cards, and her openness and honesty. thank you for sharing her story with us. hugs )


  9. xtrememom

    My condolences to you and Yvonne. Kathy sounds like an amazing woman and I would have loved to meet her. Your tribute was beautiful. Also, I love what she did with index cards. Just awesome. Thank you for sharing.


  10. Dawn Smith

    Lovely tribute Tom. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and Yvonne and your loved ones. Anything you two need at all is a given. Just let me know.


    1. Gray Dawster

      First of all I offer you my most sincere condolences for the very sad loss of Yvonne’s mom, your mother-in-law and of course a very dear family member to all your family, and it goes without saying that she is missed so very much.

      For the now it is a time is for sadness as the grief lets go of its emotions, and then the remembrance of a dearly loved mom, her many delightful mannerisms, her love for all things, the passion that filled every moment of her being, in essence the remembrance of a woman that means everything to so many family members.

      Later there will be time for hilarity as her infectious laughter is remembered and lots of little things also, amidst the amazing characteristics and attributes that made Kathy such a warm hearted and deeply loved mother and kin to all.

      You have certainly done her proud Tom, and I feel sure that she is already laughing wholeheartedly by your incredibly noble and affectionate thoughts about her. She is and always will be one in a million.

      Be well my friends Yvonne and Tom at this most saddening moment in your family lives… My thoughts are with you.





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