On this Father's Day I'm thinking of my nonnos, the two fathers who brought their families from Calabria to Canada for a better life and unknowingly gave me two lands where my heart and soul dance.
Nonno Joe was born in the late 1800s. It makes me pause: I know people who were born in three different centuries. We may be the first generation to make that claim.
Nonno set out for the USA on his own when he was barely a teenager. I can't imagine the strength needed for that journey in a time before mass communications and transportation. How would WE do it without the Internet and our cell phones? Nonno was resourceful enough to make that trip several times. Returning to Calabria to marry and emigrating with my nonna and their Italian-born children.
Nonno Tony arrived in Canada at mid-20th century with full family in tow. Even then, they left knowing they'd never see mothers, fathers or siblings again. And no text messages, no tweets. I was lucky to know this Nonno who lived into his 90s. His grapevines are in my back yard and his lemon tree is in my living room (this is Canada).
I will write more about their journeys. Today is for a simple remembrance of the fathers who brought me here.
And happy father's day to my dad too.