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Friday, June 4, 2010

My grandma, the original Baller G

Hi friends. Having trouble sleeping tonight. Found out yesterday that my grandmother passed away and, well, yeah.  It hurts.

I hesitate to get personal on a blog that has heretofore been dedicated to my professional life, but a few thoughts won't hurt. I know my grandma liked to brag about me, so now I get to brag about her!

My grandma, the indomitable Yolanda Cocozza, was such a Baller G. She was someone you'd swear would live forever. She seemed afraid of nothing. Never a shrinking violet, a truly unstoppable lady. She taught me to paint, about light and dark shading, about three-dimensions, how to make an S-curve with a paintbrush, she showed me short-hand and it made absolutely no sense, she cooked me egg noodles, pizza and doughboys, bought me thin-sliced American cheese, cranked up the radiator so it warmed my toes while we chatted and sat on swively high chairs, she collected People magazines, we reveled in its trashiness, she let me play incessantly in my grandfather's reclining chair, told me, over and over, not to touch the water in her birdbath, sent me cards, addressed them in her feminine, perfect handwriting, came to see me in my shows, lower, middle, high school, college, she chatted with me on the phone, got my sarcasm, knew when I was being a pill, she did crosswords, went to see crass movies like "Knocked Up," complained about them, but kept going anyway, she was a loving mom, wife, grandma, the whole shebang.

What a cool lady, right?

I miss you already, Grandma Yola, and if you were here I would hug you tight! And then we'd chat, about...anything, really: current events, my job, how you like my hair blonder, and love that my boyfriend is so tall, and I would laugh and tell you you were oh-so-feisty, and it would be the best.

Thanks for everything, Yol. I love you.


  1. She sounds like a wonderful lady. My great-grandma who passed a few years ago sounds very similar and, while it was so hard to lose her, the memories and stories you tell about such incredible ladies keep them alive forever. Big hugs!

  2. Felicia - thank you for sharing your memories of your grandma. She sounds like she was an amazing lady. I lost my grandpa when I was 17 and I have so many fond memories of him. I feel blessed to still have 3 grandparents alive. You're in my thoughts and prayers, sweetie. All the best and many hugs! :)

  3. Darlene (Mrs Peggy)June 4, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Oh Fel! So sorry to hear about the loss of your nonna! She truly sounds like an incredible lady. Unfortunately it's one of the saddest realities of growing up, that we begin to lose our elders. As someone who has said farewell to all of my nonni, I can tell you without hesitation that they never ever truly leave. She will be with you always. Every time you paint, every time you sit in a swirly high chair, or see a radiator, or a people magazine. You may finding yourself suddenly drawn to doing crossword puzzles. That's her looking over your shoulder and whispering in your ear, don't forget me 'Felicia mia'. And when your own feisty nature comes shining through, remember where it came from and know how proud she is of you. See you soon,
    Hugs, Dar

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, but she does sound like an amazing woman and you're so lucky to have such a cool and loving grandmother in your life. *hugs*

  5. I am so sorry about your grandmother. She sounds like a lot of fun, like someone who loved life -- and obviously she passed that trait along to you, too. May good memories comfort you in the days ahead.

  6. I'm so sorry about your grandma....she sounds like she was a really neat, loving lady.

  7. This makes me cry :( hope you're feeling better. what wonderful memories you have with your grandma

  8. Sweetheart,
    This tribute to Grandmas brought tears to my eyes. You know that she loved you TREMENDOUSLY and seized every opportunity to sing your praises. As you perform as Elphaba this weekend, your feisty angel will be with you---cheering, beaming, and glowing with pride!
    With neverending love,

  9. I envy you. I never had such a close relationship with my grandmother. She sounds like she was an amazing woman and that's the goodness and love that you have have inherited from her. She's proud of you and she'll always still be with you. *HUGS*

  10. I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your gram-ma. She does indeed sound like an incredibly cool lady.
    You won't ever forget her, but I hope with time the pain of losing her subsides and by channeling her awesomeness, she'll never be forgotten.



  11. So sorry to read of your loss.

    Have the best shows ever in memory of your Yola!

  12. Felicia, my friends and I saw your most wonderful, most awesome, most words will not do to speak of your most excellent performance of Elphaba today, June 5th in the 2pm matinee. What a wonderful production and I can only imagine and have read how you feel about being a part of it. You were stunning. You magically captured our attention from the very moment you stepped on stage. I hope this leads to other leads for you. Your voice is beautiful! And you were very enjoyable to watch. We hated to see you go in the last scene! I am looking forward to seeing this again and hope you will be doing the lead! your new fans, Dave, Katy, and Lisa (and we all live in Santa Cruz, Californina)

  13. Felicia I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is so touching to hear you have so many wonderful memories of your Grandma, and she will always be with you through everything you do. Use this as an opportunity to grow and get stronger. Your performances will benefit from a new emotional depth. Look after yourself, and take the time you need to get back into the swing of things. Your family and friends will always be around to love and support you.
    Best wishes,

    Emily J

  14. My husband and I enjoyed your performance on the evening of June 5th. It was absolutely amazing!! I am so sorry to hear about your grandma. She would be SO proud of your performance that night. It was truly flawless and breathtaking.

  15. What a heartfelt tribute to your grandma. She sounds like an amazing woman. Isn't it great to have a grandma like that to shape your life? I was fortunate to have ALL of my grandparents at my wedding. (And I got married in my 20's) My poor husband had only his dad. Every day shared with them was a blessing. I can tell that's how you felt about your granmda, too. My condolences to your mom and family.

  16. I saw the 2pm show on Sunday as well, and was impressed by how beautiful your voice is. Sorry to hear about your grandmother, but what an awesome show it was.

  17. Thinking of you, Felicia... I hope you're surrounded by the love of your family right now. I know the memories are painful now...I lost my mom to cancer 9 years ago when she was 53. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing person...and I bet she was proud as punch to look over your shoulder during your performances this weekend.

    You should have a little something waiting for you when you get back...not sure if you got it before you left or not...just a little love from one of your NC fans. ;-)

    You're in my thoughts...