Monday, December 20, 2010

leona colla
august 18, 1917-december 18, 2010

my nonna passed away on saturday. i've been trying to come up with a proper post, but i'm having a hard time putting something cohesive together. so instead, i've put together some pictures and a few words.

nonna, wadsworth, nevada, 1937

my nonna's parents came to san francisco from italy. i'm unsure of the year.

they lived in potrero hill, san francisco.

nonna, july 15, 1937

until kindergarten, my nonna only spoke italian.

Angie S and Leona G

when she went to register for kindergarten, her mother didn't speak english. leona was not her real name, but it's what the school heard and put down as her first name. she went by leona her entire life.

my nonna would wear long dresses to school and tell people that they had barrels and barrels of money in their basement. really they had barrels of her papa's wine.


when i was born nonno and nonna were in reno. she was gambling. she asked if they could leave the next day, but nonno said, no.

she always told me she never forget the year i was born because it was the bicentennial.

nonno & nonna

nonna worked at see's candy when she was dating my nonno. she loved to tell the story about how for her birthday or christmas he handed her a box of see's candy. she wanted to throw it at him. she opened it and inside was a watch.


she was a mother of four and a grandmother to eight.

nonna had been on hospice for a long time. she hadn't said a word in over two years.

my nonna's folks raised her orphaned cousin, jenny, who was the same age as nonna. jenny died last week. when my dad's older sister kathy went to visit her before she died, kathy said to jenny, "jen, reach your hand out to leona, would you?"

rest in peace, nonna.


Cats On Holiday said...

I'm so sorry Tracey. This is a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute.

frances g. said...

I'm sorry to read this sad news, but you did her proud with such a lovely post.

Megan said...

Trace, I never saw this! I was trying to remember if Nonna died yesterday or today and Googled her thinking I would find her obit, but instead this popped up.

This was sooo nice to read!!!! Miss you and hope you guys are doing well!!


Jim Colla said...

Hey Trace - Meg just shared your post - what a wonderful tribute to mom/nonna! As yesterday was the anniversary of her passing, she has been in the forefront of my thoughts. Thanks for putting your emotions and thoughts down in a moving tribute. All the best to you, Gabe, and Ollie for the Holidays!