In 1998 Jewel Released Hands, a song with a powerful message, just about a year prior, we had lost our friends, but this wasn’t an ordinary death, it was a brutal murder, that time too, brought me to the realization that my beautiful Nonna wouldn’t always be there, one day the hands that lovingly prepared Biscotti’s and Lemon Meringue pies, who’d make sure we had warm bowls of Pasta Fagioli on rainy days, the same Nonna who made delicious Spaghetti, would not always be there, but I knew too that I was blessed, I had my Nonna, and I would have her for the first twenty five years of my life. Her influence is still very real and tangible, and if I close my eyes, I can still see Nonna’s hands at work.
It was Nonna’s hands that taught mine to cook meals at the age of six. I was supervised, but it always makes me sad when I see how many of the values,I had learned as a child, have all but vanished. One of the most important values that I learned was to respect your elders, sass and disrespect were a sure fire way to get yourself into trouble, the same hands that taught disciplined, but not out of anger, Nonna was not one to spank, but she was Italian, and used her hands to let her emotions, be known, Italians have a way of talking with there hands, and they can become very animated, something that I can attest happens to me.
But it was Nonna whose hands helped to shape the person I would come, whose hands would remind me I was rich in the ways that truly mattered. Nonna was the one who taught me to read when I was only a little girl of three, and she told me to dream. She believed in education but she believed in something else too, letting us be who we were meant to be.