New York Woman Touched by Grandmother's 'Happy Life' Note Found 3 Years After Death

"I was always afraid she was sad," Geneane Tomasulo said.

ByNICOLE PELLETIERE
May 7, 2015, 2:15 PM
Shirley Warmbrand photographed with granddaughter Geneane Tomasulo, second from right, among four generations of family.
Shirley Warmbrand photographed with granddaughter Geneane Tomasulo, second from right, among four generations of family.
Geneane Tomasulo

— -- Geneane Tomasulo said she couldn't believe her eyes when she stumbled upon an autobiographical letter, one that she never knew existed, written by her late grandmother who had passed away three years ago.

The letter, titled "Shirley Warmbrand's Story," gave Tomasulo new insight into her grandmother, and it warmed her heart to read what she wrote about those close to her, Tomasulo said.

The letter read, in part, "I have wonderful grandchildren. They are in college and my grandson is graduating next Saturday. ... I like to be around people and I learn from them. I had a very enjoyable life. I have had a happy life."

PHOTO: Shirley Warmbrand wrote a short autobiography while in assisted living.
Shirley Warmbrand wrote a short autobiography while in assisted living.
Courtesy Geneane Tomasulo

"That was definitely the best part of reading it," said Tomasulo of East Rockaway, New York. "It was awful when she died because she was outliving everyone -- even outlived my mother, her own daughter. I know we made her happy, obviously, but I was always afraid she was sad from losing her husband and my mother, both to cancer. Nobody should have to bury their child.

"The letter showed that she was so humble and simple that little things could make her happy, and the tragedies that she endured didn't make her think any less of her life."

Tomasulo told ABC News she believes the letter was written by Warmbrand so she could introduce herself to an assisted living home, where she stayed for two years prior to her death at age 88 in 2012.

PHOTO: Geneane Tomasulo
Warmbrand seen here holding her great-grandaughter.
Geneane Tomasulo

"I definitely didn't expect anything personal of hers to be in there," she said.

Tomasulo added that she was thrilled to find the note and has since recalled warm memories of her grandmother.

"She was super nice," she said. "She liked to cook, she made the best corned beef and cabbage, and she was always bragging about her grandkids and great grandchild. She was a total gossiper -- loud and funny.

"I'm not sure if I'll frame the letter. I'm going to hold onto it, though," she added. "It's in a safe place right now as a nice memory to have."

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