Saturday, February 17, 2007

PHOTO HUNTERS


Today's Photo Hunters theme is Antique.

I have taken a photo of a ring that my grandmother gave to me over 25 years ago. Her deceased husband had given it to her when they married.
It is a simple ring- small diamond chips surrounded by white gold to give the illusion of more diamonds.
It is a sweet ring- two larger hearts connected by a smaller heart in the center.
A perfect wedding day gift.



My grandmother was born, raised and lived most of her life outside of Florence, Italy. She was a strong, brave, god-fearing woman- Raising my father all by herself on a poor farm. A beautiful farm surrounded by olive groves and grape vines.

My most memorable summer vacations were spent on that farm with her- hauling water uphill every morning from the deep, deep well, feeding her immense hogs, sitting behind her in a wagon being pulled by massive oxen with the most impressive and deadly horns. Climbing out of the upstairs window onto the hog pen's roof to gather figs from the tree that grew there. I also had the pleasure of learning how to break a poor rabbit's neck- so that we may have a nice rabbit stew for dinner.

She also lived a very tragic life. Stories are often told of her standing in front of the farm with a shotgun trying to prevent the German soldiers from taking it over and stealing her horses. She lost that battle.

Also, as a very young woman she bore the stigma of raising a child out of wedlock (my father),and of having my grandfather die by her hands.

She suffered in her later years with Alzheimer's, finally dying of that dreaded disease surrounded by the beautiful hills of Italy and the nuns who watched over her.

I believe that she is my angel- Watching over me and guiding my choices. She is the reason that I was able to buy such a prosperous business. I felt her presence every day I worked that floral shop. All good things that happen to me are because of her spirit that I carry with me.

Here is a photo of my grandmother with her husband on their wedding day in Washington D.C.. He died 4 days later, of a brain aneurism.

She did live a tragic life.



I miss you Nonna.

24 comments:

Carol said...

What a great tribute to your grandmother!

And, in answer to your question, no, those chairs and statue are NOT in MY home!!! EWWWW!!! :-)

srp said...

A very beautiful ring and a lovely tribute. My grandmother too had that awful disease, Alzheimer's. She seemed to always know or at least connect with my little daughter Nyssa and my brother, but lost the rest of us. The ONLY positive side to that illness is that the patient isn't aware of how much they've changed.
I'm glad you have such a beautiful memory of her and the ring to continually remind you of her presence.

Connie said...

Oh my what a touching story. She sounds like she was an incredible person. Now you have a most wonderful guardian angel for sure. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Great photo for today's theme.

Take care,
Connie
Thanks for stopping by.

Linda said...

The ring is absolutely beautiful but the story is even more so. I could picture your grandmother standing in front of her farm with shotgun in hand defying the Germans with all that she had. She sounds like she was a fiesty, warm, wonderful woman who had to face many tragedies in her life but came away from them even stronger.

My grandmother also had Alzheimer's and in her last years didn't know anyone anymore. It is so sad to see a loved one fade away like that before our very eyes and become only a shell of the person that they were.

I have no doubt that your grandmother is with you every step of the way and will continue to watch over you. Thank you so much for sharing her pictures and her life!

Barbara H. said...

It is a beautiful piece of jewelry, and so neat to have the history of someone you love behind it.

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

Mitey Mite said...

This is a lovely tribute. And how wonderful to have her ring as a tangible reminder of your grandmother.

Expat Traveler said...

oh wow! what a story! Thanks for stopping by.

Teena said...

What a lovely ring and a lovely tribute to your grandmother :)

Thanks for stopping by mine :)

Smalltown RN said...

Aren't Nonna's wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story...the ring is beautiful and it certainly went to someone who values it for it's sentimental meaning....

Heart of Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely piece of jewelry that belonged to your grandmother. Thanks for sharing a piece of her life with us. I think it's a lovely tribute. How nice that you think of her as your angel looking after you. It's a reflection of your love for one another. Thanks for visiting.

PowersTwinB said...

My mom is in the hospital today, and she is suffering from Alzhiemers, a life-threatening blood clot, macular degeneration and a blood cancer..she will turn 80 on Monday.She has no idea of time, and who is with her ...she says she is afraid...My heart is breaking and I so needed to see someones antique photo with a lovely memorial and story to it! thank you!

Dragonheart said...

What a beautiful ring! Just gorgeous! And a wonderful tribute to your grandmother.

bbsgirl said...

That is a beautiful ring and you sure did post a very heartwhelming story to go with it. Lost of history shared.

thanks for stopping by today.

TorAa said...

A beautiful ring and a very moving story. A fine entry.

Mother of Invention said...

Such a strong spirit as hers, she is surely your Guardian Angel. She deserves to be in the best of Angel Places now.

India, the Hippie Chick said...

I was so touched by this, Gewels. Luxor's the one who participates in Photo Hunters, but I told him I needed to comment on your entry.

The picture of the ring is beautiful, but even more so because of what it means. Your grandmother sounds like a very strong woman, indeed. I'm glad you've still got her presence with you.

Cathy said...

That is a ring to truly treasure with a story behind it. Those are the most special! Thank you for sharing.

And thank you for visiting my blog!

PEA said...

The ring is so very beautiful and what a tragic story behind the woman who wore it! One has to be proud of her, having gone through so many adversities and yet remaining strong. Thank you so much for sharing this story of your beloved grandmother! Thank you also for visiting me:-) Hugs xox

Pat said...

A beautiful ring and a great tribute to your grandmother. :-)

Thanks for stopping by.

Tracie B. said...

che bella nonna! salutamela :)

GoofyJ said...

So beautiful, and a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother. Thanks for the visit. :)

PastorMac's Ann said...

What a lovely lovely ring and such a beautiful symbol to remember your grandmother by. She was a beautiful person. Wonderful choice for The Hunt and a fitting tribute to one so dear.

Linds said...

Thank you for your last comment, Gewels. I almost cried when I read it and it gave me such a renewed sense of strength.

As for your grandma, I was so touched by her story. What an incredible and beautiful woman she was. I, too, feel my grandmother's love, support, and presence every single day. What a blessing it is!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Take care. Talk to you soon.

Hugs,
Linds

red-dirt-girl said...

Gewels,

This is a beautiful, heart-filled piece of writing......I love reading stories like these - so personal. They remind us each of the trials of this journey called life - and of being able to endure and go forward........she is a treasure.......as much as you are to her!

rdg