My mom’s parents are still alive. They’re both 100% Italian and have 7 brothers and sisters, each. They’re Nunnie and Popo.
I recently emailed my Popo (he types in ALL CAPS in all his emails LIKE THIS). I updated him about what I was up to: my recent trip for work, travel, life and friends.
In reply he wrote simply, “YOU ARE A GROWN UP NOW. YOU ARE A FINE YOUNG LADY.” Although he does have a loud, vivacious voice he wasn’t yelling, but he always speaks the truth. And his point touched me, deeply.
My Popo worked for 40 years, tirelessly on the B&O Railroad in West Virginia, they lost two children, then raised three children (my mother being the eldest). He’s the kind of respectable man that the Mayor, Chief of Police and District Attorney look up to and talk to regularly. He’s opinionated. He still bends down, to tie my Nunnie’s shoe laces and holds her hand when walking. They’ve been married for over 60 years. He has his own garden – him and my Nunnie can their vegetables, make spaghetti sauce from scratch and roasted peppers then selflessly give away to their children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends.
He respects me and is proud of me. I only hope to be half the people my Nunnie and Popo are.
I never met my dad’s parents. They had both passed away before he was 26 – he hadn’t even met my mom yet.
I see my beautiful Grandma (Michelina Provenzano aka Mickey) smiling at me in her pictures; stylish, with red lipstick, and black curly hair peering out of her hats. Recently, when I wrote the post, Daddys And Their Daughters, my dad’s cousins, Tony and Fran, wrote me a touching email in response: