Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nona's Childhood Home

Not all things that metamorphosis change for the better, some times they just change.

This is my grandmother's childhood home.

We call her Nona (an Italian take on the name grandma).

I found this photo a few weeks ago while going through a box of her old pictures.

She was one of 12 children to be raised in this hillside home in the mining town of Vittondale, PA.

I've been told that my Great Grandma kept a nice garden in the front lawn.

Nona's told me a few stories about her doll that was left in the yard and was ruined in the rain.

I have seen old photos of my dad playing in the yard as a small boy, of my great Aunts all dressed up and of my Great Grandparents standing in front of the home.

Many, many years ago the home was sold out of the family.

Today, this is what it looks like.

It has been added onto..
It has been re-sided...

Porches have been lost to make room for indoor bathrooms...

Whole windows are gone as well as the chimmy stack from the middle of the home..

A trampoline has replace the beautiful garden...

It has metamorphosed into something else, someone else's home filled with someone else's dreams, children and shelter.

Today Nona turns 85.

My Nona has had a series of two strokes over the past year, this last one leaving her unable to survive without constant help. My mother and father(her son) have made the brave and exhausting choice to have her live with them, in fact both of my grandma's live with them. Nona, needs help to get out of bed, get to the wheel chair, go to the bathroom, bathe, dress, and eat. She has lost her ability to speak free thoughts... she can no longer answer my questions

What color was the trim on your home?

Which window was your bedroom window?

Who did you share a room with?

Did anyone live in the third floor?

What did you keep in the cellar?

How many times a day did you have to walk up and down the mountain to town?

I have the great privilege of helping to care for Nona several days a week. I treasure the times I spend with her. I treasure each time I rub her paper thin legs, arm, and feet with lotion. Two weeks ago I cried when she was able to verbalize the following

"Dee Dee, I don't see too good" when I brought her out for breakfast without her glasses! For it was the first and only time since her last stroke that she called me by name!

I am blessed beyond belief to have both of my grandmas still with me.

But much like the old home, they too have changed.

Fortunately, unlike the old home, they will always remain in the family!

Happy Birthday Nona!

I love you.... Dee Dee

(this is a picture of Nona and my beautiful mom)

A special thankyou to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch!

Head on over there for inspiring ideas.


Bunny Jean said...

Hi Dee Dee, I really liked reading you post. I lost my mother exaclty one year ago this month. She was 97, she had me at 40. In those days that was old to have a baby, not so much anymore!

I am a bit confused about the very last picture. Is that your mother next to your Nonna? And if so, is it a current picture... she looks so young!

Sedona @ MyDivineDelights said...

DeeDee I so enjoyed reading your post. I have wonderful memories with my granny, she just turned 88 this past week. So many wonderful stories and pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Signing Out said...

Dee Dee, your post really touched my heart. It's so wonderful that you and your family are taking care of Nona at home...such a loving family!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

What a loving story about your grandmother. God Bless to all of your family. Hugs, Marty

nannykim at spindle cottage said...

Wonderful post!!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

I loved seeing the old house. my mom and grandma are gone now, I wish I could have ask more questions and had the answers from them..Sometimes, you just don't wantto ask or listen because you begin to think they are getting older and may leave you, very sad, I know better now....

Marigene said...

What a nice post.....happy birthday to your Nona!

Anonymous said...

Dear Cousin Dee Dee,
I called Aunt Ida (your Nona) today to wish her a happy birthday. It was a short conversation, as they are now. I sure do miss the long, chatty telephone conversations we used to have! It was nothing for us to talk for an hour or an hour and a half, easy!!
Tonight, your Mom told me about your blog and was sweet enough to send the link. I am in tears, as I from birth to age 13 lived in that house with my mom, your Nona's youngest sister, Patti.
Thank you for putting your thoughts and pictures out here and for sharing them with me. And also thank you for taking such gentle care with my Aunt Ida. She's a treasure and I love her to pieces!!
Take care of your beautiful family!
Cousin Tammie
PS - I believe the house was a lighter green with a darker green trim!
PSS - The only way I could post was Anonymous - you might have to give me a lesson on how to do this right!! But I wanted to get this message to you. You're a gem!

Anonymous said...

DeeDee, what a beautiful, sentimental way to honor Gram. Russ and I so enjoyed our visit and getting to share Gram's birthday with all of you. I've said it and thought it so many times before--you and Wayne are very talented and special people with two precious children and a beautiful home.

Again, thanks for writing such a wonderful tribute to Gram. I'm feeling a bit sad tonight after leaving all of you behind in Cincinnati today. Love, Aunt Linda

Christine said...

All your comments have touched on the love for family and especially their Grandmas.
Grandmas have a special spot in hearts for most of us. That is why I love being a Grandma.

dee dee said...

I've tried to find your blog, but have been unable to do so. Yes that is a recent photo of my mom, is't she pretty!
If you get this message please forward me your blog spot! Much thanks,
Dee Dee