A Portrait of Nonna

Story pending

Although my nonna went through many hardships during her childhood, this photograph represents the strength and bravery my nonna had coming to America from Italy. My nonna lived a very hard childhood. This photograph is a family portrait of my nonna when she was living with her cousins in Italy. At the age of two, her mother died unexpectedly and her father was taken as a prisoner of war. My nonna moved with her sister from orphanage to orphanage for eight years. At the age of ten, my nonna moved to Marsala, Italy to live with her cousins. At age of 29, she decided she didn’t want to be so dependent on her family and wanted to live a life of her own. She was offered a job in America to sew piecework for men. She decided to move here and unlike most immigrants, she came here by plane. Here in America is where she met my nonno. They got married and had my mom and my aunt. Both my grandparents worked so hard to maintain jobs to be able to provide for their kids. My nonna gave me this photograph when I asked her about her origins and our culture. This photograph is important to me because every time I look at it, it reminds me of all the sacrifices my grandmother had to make for me to be here today. 

Place(s): Marsala, Italy
Year: 1964

– Kristen N

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant