Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nonno's Eyes




this is the only grandparent i knew.
he lived with us and died when i was ten.
i've kept this one photo and the note that he
wrote with me forever, in my many moves.
i hadn't really realized how beautiful he was
until i scanned this small 2" sq photo,
and made it my wallpaper on the computer.

now, i look into that sculpted face,
those deep eyes everyday.
he was quiet, a writer, a poet.
he spoke little english.
he took care of me when everyone
was off on the farm.
he had creamy coffee and bread for breakfast.
he tied my shoes. combed my hair.

this note in italian and his gorgeous handwriting, which i must have translated,
was written on my first birthday, december 11, 1946.
there's my name, nunzia neva.
there's AMORE
from Nonno Rosario.

he was born in 1883 in catania, italy (sicily), came to the US in 1905.

(i've been feeling maybe reflective, certainly VERY quiet these days,
very quiet. no posting lately, but well and happy. thought i'd check in with a hello.)
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  1. Hello Neva, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about Nonno and this precious letter he wrote to you on your first birthday. I miss my grandparents and wish that I'd kept letters that they wrote to me so long ago.

    Such a great idea to have his photo and beautiful handwriting as your computer wallpaper!

    Stay well and happy, Neva.

  2. Ciao Neva,
    I noticed that you were being quiet and I honor and respect that. this post is so beautiful and I think you can translate the note by going on google translate or yahoo babelfish, you can get a pretty accurate translation anyway.
    Do you have a photo of your Nonna who made the lace? I think it is wonderful to have him as your screen saver and I think we are so fortunate to know where we come from. xox

  3. He was indeed a very beautiful man, Neva. I see shades of you in his handsome face. What a treasure, that beautiful handwritten letter and photo! I truly enjoyed seeing it, as well as your memories of him.

  4. Reflective and quiet is 'going around' blogland. Thank you so much for sharing the photo and letter from your Nonna, a very important person in your early life. That kind of love has lasted all these years and continues.

  5. Perhaps there is something in the air when we begin to leave one season behind and enter another, especially spring. Simultaneously it reminds us of new life and energy, while also reminding us of our age as we (s)age. Beautiful entry, Neva. These old photos are precious reminders and the letter -- priceless!

  6. thank you for sharing this treasure of your heart ... what an elegant man

  7. What a beautiful and reflective post-the picture of your handsome-noble looking grandfather and that treasure of a letter. Just having a sampling of his handwriting is such a wonderful gift. It's soulful and how lucky you are to still have it. Who of us knew when we were a child that we should hold on to certain things that later-when we were older, we would give anything to have. This special letter to you is certainly a gift of a lifetime. And always remember-there's nothing wrong about silence-stillness and a rest time for ourselves. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story.

  8. What a wonderful post Neva. Your grandfather was a beautiful man with a very caring face. What expressive handwriting he had, and what treasures are his photo and his letter. Your post is such a meaningful one to me, as I think of the fragility of life and remind myself to cherish loved ones.

  9. Isnt it an amazing thing that technology can bring someone like your Nonno back to reality in such a wonderful way.
    That is part of what i do with most of my work and the joy it brings people to see their loved ones again is never ending.
    Its amazing to see the details in such tiny images once so small, barely visible.
    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful image.

  10. oh the handwriting . art personified . be well friend ...

  11. hello to you. What warm beautiful memories you must have even though he passed on when you were 10. My grandfather came from Japan to Hawaii where my mother was born the youngest of nine and her mother died when she was 4. so I grew up in Hawaii with a grandfather who did not speak any English and I only saw on family gatherings a few times a year. I remember our bows to each other- me as a young child and he as the patriarch who we never learned to communicate with.
    I know you treasure your memories.

  12. A handsome man and a gentle-man from the way your loving words describe him.

  13. He was a beautiful man. I think his face reflects his kindness that you told us about.

  14. a quiet hello back to you. Oh - and a hug. Then probably tea or coffee. and - a smile! ish.

  15. what beautiful eyes and lovely skin - he looks like a very very special man

  16. YAY! So nice to see you back! I have enjoyed your post and reading your memories.
    I too have Italian heritage. My grandfather was Henrico Felicio Lora but I don't know a lot about him. He died before I was born :( My Dad's told me a few things and I have some old pins that he collected but I never knew him. Your grandfather sounds like he was a love man.

    Nice to see you, to see you nice!

  17. dearest neva, what beautiful memories,(him brushing your hair, the "creamy coffee and bread" breakfasts. And your grandfathers letter to you, and such a beautiful man. I can feel that he is still with you. sending love... roxanne

  18. Neva this is beautiful...what a treasure thank you for sharing this lovely bit of your lifestory with us. I am happy to read that you are well.

  19. What a great gift to have and to treasure.

  20. You know - it has finally clicked. You have Italian ancestory. It should have been obvious! Anyway - what a beautiful, beautiful posting Neva! Your nono has such kind, kind eyes and a very dignified and compassionate look to him. You were blessed to have someone like this gentleman in your life - and to leave you a note like this for you to keep forever is so very special indeed. What a touching post.

  21. I remember him so clearly my cousin, they called him zuzaro and he was born in Trecastagni, Sicily that city is a providence of Catania......I first learned to ride a bike on your dad's farm Uncle Mike...remember the flight to Mexico in the Cessna 150...Love Cousin Joseph and my Daughter 22 Briana or FB joe.fischella