My grandmother Giulia, my mother Giannina (lower right corner), and my uncle Emilio. My mother was born in the United States in 1917. She’s around one or two years old in this photo. My grandmother only lived in the U.S for a short time, and this photo was probably taken when she moved back to Italy. My grandmother had six more children in Italy. All six were boys. Three died, either as infants or very young. My mother was the only girl in the family. My grandmother never came to the U.S. again, and I never went to Italy, so I never met grandmother or my grandfather. When my grandmother’s children were grown, except for one son, they all moved to the U.S.
My grandfather Salvatore, and the same uncle as in the photo above.
This is my mother’s passport photo. It is dated 1939. My parents were married in a civil ceremony on September 9, 1937. In July 1939, at the age of 22, she left Italy to come back to the U.S. The plan was for her to come to the U.S. first, and my father would follow six months later. (She was born in the U.S. and was a U.S. citizen, that’s why she went first.) My mother told me that my grandmother cried out loud as she left, “figlia mia, figlia mia, my daughter my daughter, I’m never going to see you again.” My mother and grandmother saw each other only once more after that, during a brief visit, thirty-four years later. The year was 1973, and my mother was 56 years old.
My mother traveled to the U. S. on an ocean liner named the “Rex.” This photo may be on some sort of boarding papers that she had. My mother’s friend was scheduled to travel to the U.S. on the next ship, and wanted my mother to wait for her so they could travel together. My grandfather said a delay would be too risky, so my mother didn’t wait for her friend and left as scheduled. She came to the U.S. on the last ship before travel to the U.S. was suspended. Because of the war, the “next ship” didn’t sail until many years later. If my mother had waited for her friend, she would have been in Italy during the World War II.
My parents finally had a church wedding when my father arrived in the U.S. The wedding date was January 10, 1947. These are the only photos we have left. I believe photos were lost many years ago during a move.
A photo of me with my mother. My mother was in her 30’s in this photo.
A photo on the occasion of my mother’s 80th birthday party.
My mother had a stroke in August 2001. Her right side became permanently paralyzed, and she could no longer walk. She lived in a nursing home from September 2001 until February 2007. She had a second stroke in February 2007, and spent the last month of her life in the hospital. This photo was taken in November 2006 on my mother’s 89th birthday. She went to be with the Lord four months after her 89th birthday.
Psalms 103:15-16 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.