I've never been good at limiting myself to 133 characters, so this may be less brevity of wit than you're accustomed to from Monica.
This past weekend, we as a family lost Monica. What we didn't immediately realize was that we weren't the only ones who lost her. We knew she was passionate about her twitter activity, but we didn't know that she had amassed so many dear friends and followers. To be so loved by nearly 70,000 people is a true blessing and she was always so happy when she talked about her Twitter family. I don't know how she kept up with so many people, but from what I see, she did and she was special to you. We definitely wanted to make sure we communicated with you as we know many of you have been grieving alongside us.
It was touching to see so many "wearing" her avatar in tribute. We had been working up to posting something about a hashtag to gather all the good wishes, condolences, and compliments for Monica under, so we were so surprised the day after to see that not only had it already been done without us having to ask, but that everyone was working on trending her. I grabbed a screencap from someone at one point...
For #BossyMonica to be the number one trending topic in the US and trend for 3 and a half hours the day after the Grammies really made us laugh even in our grief and nobody would have gotten a bigger kick out of that than Monica. In fact, we're sure she did. I've favorited many of your tweets about her so our family has something to keep us smiling as we remember her.
Monica with her mother and her nephew
In life, she was a real character. She was always the most glamorous person we knew. That picture of Linda Evans on @MrsDarcy119 is an inside joke, a wink to the fact that many of us thought she was a dead ringer for Linda Evans when she went blonde.
She had an extremely wicked sense of humor, hugs that could crack your bones, and a playfulness that never went away (she called me Hon, Pumpkin, Monkey, or Monster so much I sometimes wondered if she knew my name). She had a laugh that was an outright gleeful cackle, a mischievous streak, very strong opinions, and a certain charismatic quality that made people listen when she spoke. She was very family oriented, like most of our family. Her closest friends were among her family.
Monica, sassy as ever, with her mother and 3 of her 5 sisters.
Monica with her mother and her favorite brother.
Monica left us on Saturday, February 7th. We truly wish we knew the exact cause, but a full autopsy was not given to us. But it was either due to complications arising from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or a refusal to receive proper medical attention after a fall the previous week. This staunch refusal of medical attention was something characteristic of her and we truly wish we'd been more insistent that she accept that help when she needed it. It was shocking and sad, but we keep trying to find hope somewhere in it.
Monica passed on the liturgical feast day of St. Colette, namesake of her younger sister, housemate, and constant companion Colette (who wants you to know she always enjoyed hearing about especially amusing quotes from Monica's followers and how special they were to her). We take that as a lovely sign to assure us that Monica is in heaven, happy until we all meet again. One quote about St. Colette is that "She was not only a woman of sincere piety, but also intelligent and energetic, and exercised a remarkable power over all her associates." If that doesn't describe Monica as well, then I don't know what does.
Baby Monica striking a glamorous pose.
Her daughter, Debbie, as well as the rest of us, will miss her presence. "Bossy Monica" was a fitting name for her and she knew it. Even writing this, I can imagine her over my shoulder, telling me what pictures to veto. But that bossiness was tempered with a sweetness and she could go from willfulness to laughter in under a heartbeat.
I believe she is in good company with a husband, a brother, a young niece, and her parents waiting to welcome her. It's only we who are mourning.
There will be no viewing as per Monica's wishes and her remains will be cremated and buried in California with her late husband. Her funeral mass will not be immediate due to extenuating family circumstances so that the California side of her family can come to say goodbye and so we have time to send her off in the style she would have wanted.
If any of you who live in the Delaware County area would like to participate in this celebration of her life and faith, it will be at her childhood parish.
Saturday, February 28th, 2015, 11:00 AM
316 East Broadway Avenue
Clifton Heights, PA 19018
Monica, looking mischievous, second from bottom left
Monica, grinning with her growing family (just 7 more to come!), far right.
Monica with her younger sister, Cathy.
We'll miss you, Monica.