During the lead up to my son’s birth I was trying to put together a family tree book for him and what followed was destroying my father’s belief that he had Italian heritage, sorry daddy.
My father picked up the name Luigi in his younger days because he looked like a wog. He was rather proud of this and so was I. I love Italian culture and thought it rather nice to have some Italian heritage.
Now my father is a short, active, quiet (unless under the influence of rum or red wine) and rather fit young looking 55 year old. It is really only in the last five years that he started to show his age and get some grey hair etc. When people used to pick on him saying he dyed his hair, he always used the line that it was his Italian blood. Now his vitality IS definitely in his blood, his mother now 85 is still globetrotting and in my memory has only had the one grey patch of hair nearly my entire life and no neither of them have ever dyed their hair. If I’m lucky I’ll be the same.
Now I had always been told by my father that his grandfather was Italian, so when doing my sons family tree I dug deeper. I sat down and asked my father where he got the idea his grandfather was Italian from and he told me a story which is what he believed to be true; that his Grandmother had got up to some mischief with a sexy Italian and thus his mother was born. The sexy Italian then got shipped back to Italy for shaming his family etc. etc. A lovely and touching story, I mean who wouldn’t want to have a fling with a sexy Italian. Now my dad’s story says that the Italians had a store and his grandmother worked there, nope no they didn’t no Italians had a store anywhere near, there is no record of Italians in the town in which his mother came from, on record there’s only French entrepreneurs, Englishmen and aborigines before the time of his mother’s birth.
Now the story of his Grandmother falling madly in love with a sexy dark grease ball and conceiving a child, then the sexy stud being forced to leave his beloved and return home never to see her again is wonderful stuff, someone spat him a rather good yarn as a kid and he soaked it up. I still wonder who told him that story, maybe he asked his grandmother one day why he didn’t have a grandfather and maybe it was his grandmother being cheeky that told him the story – he is rather vague in the memory department as to where he picked up the story from. I quizzed one of his sisters and she’d never heard it before but thought it was rather amusing.
My father is one of my favourite people on earth and I love him to bits. I didn’t want to break his heart and tell him after digging I had found out whom his grandfather really was and that he was plain and had no awesome wog-ness.
Now knowing the truth I’d just go with that back in 1928 my Great Grandmother wanted a baby, so she had herself one and that baby, MY grandmother, grew up to be one of the most amazing women I know.
Actually all the women in my dad’s family are kick arse independent awesome awesome beautiful powerful women. I grew up as a little girl with extremely strong females in my life on both my mother’s and father’s sides. Both of my grandmothers are amazing inspiring powerful women with amazing strength. Now this did instil in me that I can do anything (which is good) but that I don’t need anything from anybody and that no one needs to help me (not so good and gets me into strife from time to time) but never the less GIRL POWER – wait this went from being about my dad to girl power, hmmm well I don’t think he’d mind.
Remember to smile people, it makes you live longer!!!!