So, the other day Nonna asked me straight out, “Are you and Damion living together?” And when I gave her the answer, her reaction really surprised me…
Just for a bit of background, my Nonna is 95 years old and was born in the tiny Sicilian town of Francavilla where she lived until emigrating to Australia in 1959, with five children, to join her husband (my Nonno) who had been working here for several years
Like most of her generation she had an extremely conservative upbringing and was brought up as a devout catholic.
She has never worked outside the home, never voted, and speaks very little English
(especially if she knows you can speak Italian). She does all the stereotypical things that Italian grandmothers do. She’s got an altar, she enjoys force-feeding and she is awesome at laying on the guilt. But most of all, she believes in the old fashioned values.
So, you can see why I wasn’t keen on telling her that I was “living in sin.” Plus, I was afraid of what she might do to Damion (remember she’s Sicilian).
We are very close. I am even named after her and she has lived next door to me most of my life. Half of me was scared that she would kill me but really, I just didn’t want her to be disappointed.
I admitted that, yes, we were. Hastily adding how well Damion can cook and how big the portions he serves are. Then I waited for the rant that never came…
Instead she said, “Oh well, as long as you love and look after each other that’s okay”
Now, my Nonna is sharp as a tack. I suspect she had worked out that we were living together long before I actually admitted it. Which had given her lots of time to get used to the idea. But I still couldn’t believe how cool she was being about it.
I think this has a lot to do with Damion. She loves him, and for a boyfriend of mine that is no mean feat.
It might have something to do with the fuss he makes of her every time they meet. Or maybe it’s because when we went to the Perth Food and Wine Show he got Gary Meagan, (her favourite judge from MasterChef Australia), to autograph his magazine with the caption, “To Nonna, keep cooking love Gary”. Either way we are both still very much alive.
For those who don’t know, we in Australia are about to commence a postal vote on the subject of whether or not we are in favour of changing the Marriage Act to include marriage between two consenting adults instead of only between a man and a woman.
I was going to write a scathing post criticising those who intend to vote no on the grounds of religious belief.
I intended to point out that the book of Leviticus which is widely referenced as forbidding gay marriage, also forbids those with deformity, disability or mental illness (A.k.a. me) from coming to the altar. Then, I was going to ask if anyone was willing to admit that they agreed with this too, and then hope to God that someone did so I could prove my point that things in the Bible are a little outdated and frankly, quite insane (which as we have learnt is not allowed in church).
But it did seem a little ironic to me to be asking everyone to embracet love in whatever form it takes, with a post filled with anger, hatred and sarcasm.
So how about this? If my Nonna at the age of 95 can move and grow with the times then can you find it in your heart to do the same?
In these times when Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are on the brink of nuclear world war, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit more love in the world?
I had 12 years of catholic education and yet I will admit that my knowledge of the Bible is fairly limited. Although, I seem to remember that Jesus did say, “Love one another as I have loved you”. There was no caveat that I know of where He says “unless the other has a different lifestyle to yours.”
Apologies if I appear to be bending Bible verses to suit my own agenda. I thought that’s what we were doing now