Nonna, my mother-in-law has a birthday today and she is 90!!! Her name is Luisa but everyone and I mean everyone, family, friend or acquaintance calls her Nonna, which means Grandmother in Italian.
Nonna came to Australia 64 years ago with her husband Frank, (Nonno – Italian for grandfather), and a four year old son (my husband) and a baby girl. They had to leave Italy after WWII as my father-in-law is Croatian and all those not born in Italy were ordered by the government to leave.
They found themselves on a boat heading for an unknown country, called Australia with a suitcase each, two small children and unable to speak English. People were certainly pioneers in those days as they took the six week journey to a new and unknown life. Their story is so interesting that it deserves a special post of its own.
Nonna has two children, four grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, although she always says 10 great-grandchildren as she includes my grandson and children as part of the family which is lovely. My children lost their grandparents at a very young age so Nonna and Nonno have been their adopted grandparents for 23 years.
Always ready with a smile and a cheerful hello to everyone, she has finally shared her secret recipe for her pasta sauce and for many years, until recently we were all spoilt with her cooking. You only had to say you enjoyed something and then she made it for you every week!
Nonna loves a chat and visits daily with her friend who lives around the corner. My husband once remarked that for people that never really go out, these two ladies always seem to have so much to talk about!!
I have know Nonna for 23 years – the time I have been with my husband. From about 1997 both she and Nonno would say they wouldn’t see the new millennium. However they did! My husband and I organised a hotel room overlooking the city so they could see the fireworks and celebrate the new millennium with us over a seafood platter and champagne.
Each year she has said she probably won’t be here and now 16 years later she is celebrating not only her 90th birthday but also her 70th wedding anniversary. What an achievement!
Last Sunday, we had a 90th birthday party for Nonna with family and friends. It was the day the heavens decided to rain down in torrents however we had hired a hall so we were all snug inside and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon.
We decorated with balloons and streamers and in the good old fashioned Italian tradition had way too much food!
My husband, Mike, (Nonna’s son) had made a slideshow of photographs from when she was a young girl right through until present day. He also had Italian music playing in the background and both Nonna and Nonno were overcome with emotion and joy.
My husband and I live downstairs from Nonna and Nonno as support and a few weeks ago she had a fall and fractured two ribs. Since then this sprightly lady has become frail and it is sad to see. It is also a reminder that she will not always be with us and that we need to celebrate life and appreciate those we love every day.Cherish those you love as they will not always be here to tell them how much they mean to you.Click To Tweet
Happy birthday Nonna! We know you share your birthday month with Queen Elizabeth II. You are our Queen and now we start planning for the 100th!!!
Let’s Keep Sizzling!