After conversing with my mother several weekends ago and others in my family, it only seemed natural that this blog post would follow…
Before I start out let me just say I love both sides of my family equally… However, I’ve always felt like I identify more with my Italian side, I don’t really know why though–maybe it’s because I love Italian food, maybe it’s because I was intrigued by the Italian Mafia and spent endless hours scouring the internet looking for familial surnames in Italian Mafia history, maybe it’s the warmness my family always displays when I come to visit although I don’t visit that frequently we always pick up where we left off…or maybe it was because that part of my family is so large and intertwined, the stories passed down never become old or mundane, or maybe it’s because my grandfather who can speak Italian is one of the best story tellers I’ve ever known, or maybe it’s because I’m only 3rd generation American and can pretty much trace my family roots. My great grandpa was born in another country so I can’t help but be intrigued.
My German and English side–well I don’t know much about my German side as my grandfather passed before I was born, and my English side well I’ve lived that life everyday for the last 28 years and I’ve studied American History, in addition to the fact that I live in the town my family has lived in for years as well– so there was nothing new to learn.
My grandparents on both sides have been nothing but amazing, supportive, and loving.
My maternal grandmother passed away when I was in 4th grade. I have fond memories of my grandmother who kept crayons (she pronounced them crowns) in a tin and coloring books for me to color (she pronounced it keller) in. She had a rotary dial phone. Pots and pans that hung from the ceiling. Trees planted for my cousin and I in her backyard. My grandma hosted Thanksgiving dinner, we went to her house every Christmas Eve– on the way home my Dad would point out “Santa” in the sky. My grandmother served wine for special occasions in her “Naked Lady Glasses” which were wine glasses in which the stem was a silhouette of a nude woman. She charted my cousin and my heights on the wall. Grandma drove a big ol’ Buick. Before I could really build a relationship with my grandmother, she’d been diagnosed with Breast cancer and I’d lose the first of my loved ones.
My maternal grandpa, is the best story teller I’ve ever known. He knows no stranger. He hugs everyone whether he knows them or not–he’s a Baptist minister so I feel like that is part of Gods way to spread love to those that need it. My grandfather can comfort people in ways I can’t explain. He was a carpenter in Philly, and worked very hard to support his wife and daughters. My mom has told me numerous times about the time she saw my grandfather carry a washer machine by himself on his back. There’s no way I can convey how genuinely loving and caring he is. My grandfather was far from wealthy in his wallet, but he is wealthy in love and that’s where it matters. I could listen all day to mom recount memories of she and her dad, maybe it’s because I also know what it’s like to have such an incredibly deep love for my parents. My grandpa used to play guitar, and my mom has recounted on several occasions how she’d stand in my grandfathers guitar case as a little girl and smell the crushed red velvety lining. My grandpa is a true Italian, when my mom and I go to visit there’s often fine cheeses and olives… He and nanny blue eyes have a beautiful garden, it’s such a skill to be able to grow such beautiful plants.
Up next: My dad’s side…