With Love From Kaye

She was the first one of her family born in the United States. All the previous generations of her clan, even including her older sister, began their lives in the small Calabrian village of Filadelfia (I'm not kidding.). Despite being born in the States, she too grew up in two different worlds; an American one on side of her front door, and an Italian one on the other. I never heard her speak a word of what I assume was her first language, but sometimes the muttering under her breath seemed incoherent to me. In line with the stereotype, she was a fantastic cook. My mother and I still make her "famous" spaghetti sauce and meatballs to this day, although not quite well as she did. Once, I asked her what her middle name was. She said it was Barbara, and that she picked it herself after her confirmation as a teenager. I asked her why she picked that name. She told me it was because it was very American. That was all she ever wanted; to embrace and live up to wholeheartedly the values of the soil on which she was born. I visited Filadelfia when I was 17, a few years after she passed away from pancreatic cancer. It's a curious little town with four churches situated at each corner of the main square. One of them is named after St. Barbara.

Place(s): Italy
Year: 1921

– Nikki Link

Relationship:  unknown unknown