I know a few phrases and quips in Italian. I learned them from my Grandfather (Mio Nonno). He being the Italian he was, taught me many things, like how to make a true pasta, we always had garlic olive oil around to put on our spaghetti, and that l'una famiglia è preziosa (one's family is precious). His last name literally meant 'of love' and that is all I felt for him. My great grandmother came from a little montain town about 20 miles from Rome, Lettopalena. Oh, how I would love to visit that little town.
I would love to name my daughter after my grandfather though only with his last name, I want Dakota Raye but I really would love for it to be Dakota Raye D'Amore and then her daddy's last name though I have not voiced this yet. If I can not have his last name in my daughter, I will be just fine with it. I miss that old man. He passed away when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and to this day, I will still buy a half dozen of daisies and stick them on his footstone. I will talk to him and tell him how my life has been and this very last time I have gone up to the cemetary, I had ask him to watch over Chasity. I am sure she is enjoying her Great Grandpap, just as much as I did.
Grandpap is the reason I have embraced the high Italian cheek bones I have, the tan I get and the red hair that many Italians have. I have embraced the Italian temper and the grudge holding. It is after all my heritage.
I would have loved for my babies, and Patrick to meet my Grandpap, because I know Grandpap would have loved Patrick. He loved many and disliked very few, and he was crazy. :) I don't have any pictures of my grandfather, but if I did, I would share them with you guys. My friends who have seen the pictures that my family does have, have said he looked like a young Vito Corleone (the Godfather). To me he was just Grandpap.
He is the reason, today, that I would love to tour Italia. Don't get me wrong, I would love to travel, Ireland, England, Belgium, and Japan even, but if I ever do get to travel before I die, Italy is the only place I would like to see. Though I would love to get married in Ireland, but that is just wishful thinking. I am an Irish-Italian by nature and by blood, but I embrace the Italian side more because that is what I was use to growing up. Traditions that follow my family is the Christmas after your 21st birthday (use to be younger), you get to take a shot with my uncle, my grandfather use to sing Christmas songs in Italian on Christmas eve, just like his father before him and so on. I wish I could remember those songs but I can't, I never got to know the words. Another, was Grandpap use to wish people Buon Natale (Merry Christmas) to everyone who passed.
There are many more but the list is absolutely to long. Yet, I will end with my favorite, It's not quite an Italian tradition as more of a German tradition, that my grandfather enjoyed. He use to hide a 'pickle' ornament in his tree at Christmas and the first child to find it got the 'extra' gift, which was usually coloring books, and such. I now have a 'pickle' ornament for my kids to pass on that tradition.
So, Enjoy your Bella Mattina (Beautiful Morning) and Ciao!
5 Songs stuck in my head:
Bella Notte- Disney's Lady and the Tramp
Si Provi A Volare- Luca DiRisio
Miss Murder- AFI
Womanizer- Britney Spears