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Things my mother gave me

By February 15, 2012July 15th, 2016Blog

I love my mother. I am lucky enough to have her still in my life even though she is 84. She lived through many things – a World War, a bomb ripping her bedroom apart, migrating from Italy to Australia as a newly wed, learning English and the customs of a strange land, bringing up 2 daughters. She has given me endless things. One of the beautiful things she has given me is a precious gold charm that has a tiny house with 2 hearts emerging from it. On the back of it is written Mamma 11-1-50.
This is the date my parents left Italy by boat and my nonna gave this charm to her youngest daughter, who was migrating so far away. She would have bought it in Monfalcone, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, which is where she lived for the rest of her life from the early 1940s. She probably bought it at Cernigoi, a jewellery shop that has been there since 1937. When I was living in Monfalcone, this was the shop that my family would go for all of their jewellery or watch repairs. It was a family business and it is still around!

I love wearing this charm on a chain around my neck. I am wearing it now. When I wear it I am reminded of mamma, nonna and Monfalcone. One day I will give this to my daughter and tell her the story of this beautiful house with the two love hearts.

Mamma on her honeymoon in Venezia, 1948

Mamma in Venezia on her honeymoon, 1948

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  • Fiona says:

    I’m also from a migrant family (Greek) and the stories they have are remarkable. Especially when they come out with random stories like ASIO having a file from my grandmother for being a suspected communist!

    We’re going on a family road trip to Bonegilla soon so view the migrant centre (that’s where they stayed when they first arrived) so I’m expecting more stories!

    • my parents were in Bonegilla too! They tell stories about how awful the food was. You will have to let me know what it is like there. I like the ASIO story. They stopped my grandmother at Tullamarine airport in the late 70s as she had suspicious seeds in her handbag…they were actually radicchio seeds (you couldn’t buy them in Australia at the time!).
      Lots of interesting stories, enjoy your road trip! Paola

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