edited: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
By Michelle R Kidwell Power In The Pen
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
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Most anyone who knew Nonna was touched by her...
It's often nights when I am laying down that I really begin to miss Nonna. A large part of the reason I am what I am, I do what I do. She gave me encouragement, and she taught me to read when I was a little girl no more than three or four. It began with Dr Seuss, and The Bernestein Bears as it does with so many kids, and before I was in Upper Elementeary School she had me hooked, hooked on books like Martin Luther King Jr's Biographies, and the Pen Balls, and so many others I can't keep count. One of our favorite things to do when I was youunger was to go to booksales and we'd come out with bags full of books, no wonder I love to read LOL.
Reading was important, just as all of our schooling was, Nonna knew education took you places, and she expected all her kids and grandkids, would do there best in school. We have picture that Nonna took when my brother her youngest Grandchild was no more than four, and Frankie, as well as the rest of her grandkids, the one's that weren't already grown or living far away were gathered at the coffee table doing homework. We had hundreds of times like that.
If I close my eyes I can still see her dark hair, her smooth face, olive complexion showing that she was full blooded Italian, in fact Italian was her first language as a child, but by the time she entered school she could speak English as well, her older sisters taught her, and in her lifetime she would learn to speak Spanish fluently, as well as French, and Latin.
Nonna was the one that taught us to pray. Before I would go to bed she'd kneel by my bed, and I would follow her lead. Nonna was not only an intelligent women, but she was a women of strong faith, and I would often peak in when I was younger while she prayed grasping her rosary, with the dark beads, and the cross handing from her fingertips. Nonna was a Catholic, but more than that she was a strong Christian, some people get themselves wrapped up in "Religion" with Nonna it wasn't "religion" but a deep faith, and even when she could not get to church she'd study her Bible, pray her prayers and sing songs like Amazing Grace.
Most anyone who knew Nonna was touched by her, she just had this awesome personality that seemed to attract people to her. Maybe that's what made her become a Foster Mother to numerous children, as well as raising four children of her own, and helping to care for three step children.
It was Nonna who all the kids and grandkids ran to for advise, or to come for a visit. If we ever needed to "get away" we'd go to Nonna's, and it was always great, being there with her, but you didn't dare complain about being bored, because Nonna didn't believe in being bored, she use to say being bored was "only for small minded people who didn't know how to enetertain themselves." Being bored was not something we tried to complain about, because at Nonna's house that was not an option or an excuse.
I use to love the nights at Nonna's, when a fire was going, and I'd sit on her footstool, and she'd tell us a story, or many stories from her childhood. Later on she wrote one of those stories down for me, and it will be told but not yet, because so much more has to be told, and my memories come back in floods, the little one's and the big ones.
A year and a half before Nonna died I took a trip to Georgia to see my friend Melissa, with Nonna's blessings, and her help, she wanted me to have this adventure, and though she or I had never met Melissa in person until that day I arrived in Gainsville straight off a greyhound bus, feeling tired, sweaty, yet exuberated, because it was my first time out of California, and I was seeing Melissa, but I digress. Anyway I was back there for a little over three weeks and everytime I called or Nonna called she would tell me how much she missed me and how she wanted me to come home, when I got home it was like I had been gone for a year, but Nonna and I always had a special relationship, I had spent so much of my life with Nonna, and even when I wasn't there physically she was with me.
By the time I had left from Georgia, with my friend Fran, (but that's another story for another time), Melissa was calling my Grandma Nonna, as was Fran, but Fran had been doing that for a long time, she had been part of the family for so long. It was just a testament to Nonna's personality, how easily people attracted to her, how they loved her, and how she loved them.
To Be Continued....