Two days ago I received my new iPhone. It has a feature on it of various clocks that you can set for various countries. So I set it for Halifax, the time of my relatives in Judique. I have a cousin in London, so I set one for London time and I have all my Italian relatives in Livorno so I set one for Rome's time. I thought to myself now I'll know what time it is in Italy all the time at the touch of a virtual button!
No sooner had I completed this, I went to check my emails and a cousin I do not know in Livorno emailed me that they had just found my my email address and wanted to update me. This cousin speaks and writes English very well whereas most of my relatives there do not speak English at all.
I've been filled in on so many things that I did not know about my mother's side of the family and her parents. My grandparents on both my father and mother's side were dead before I was born, so I've always wondered about them and in a sense have always grieved over not having known them, kind of like an orphan who never knew his parents, although not as dramatic as that of course.
At any rate, I received by email this morning these pictures. One that I have seen all my life of my mother's parents which she has on her night stand which is in a frame and a bit more doctored up than the original below which I've never seen and then another one of them outside which I've never seen and then a picture of my mother, and her two sisters at lunch at my aunt's apartment in Livorno outside on their back porch. this was taken in July of 1981 or 82 when for the first time since 1956 I went back to Italy with my mother and visited Livorno for the first time. I am out of the camera's range, but my Zia Angiolina is serving my mother some Parmigiano on her pasta, and my other Zia Asuntina is standing and my mother is on the right sitting. The only aunt I really knew was Zia Asuntina (Tina) who immigrated to Chicago with her daughter in the late 1950's and would visit us frequently in Georgia and we would go frequently to Chicago to visit them. Going to Chicago to visit them was like going to Italy for me. All their friends were Italian and everyone spoke Italian all the time.
My Zia Angiolina made some of the most wonderful meals while I was there including seafood that I had never had since Georgia two hours away from the coast doesn't have the same type of seafood as Livorno right on the Mediterranean.
I often wonder what my life would be like today if we had stayed in Italy. I grieve over that too.