Today, February 9, 2013 would have been my parents’ 74th wedding anniversary. At least we got to celebrate their 63rd. My parents were married over a decade before they had children, and they were not practicing birth control.
February 9th capped the triad of milestones for Mama and Daddy. Mama’s birthday was on February 7th, Daddy became a U. S. citizen on February 8th, and they were married on February 9th. When I inquired why these events occurred in the Heartland’s snowy month of February, they would smile and gaze into one another’s eyes. After all, Daddy was an Italian immigrant and Mama was a second-generation Italian; in the end, they were romantics at heart. They simply wanted to be married, frigid winter weather be damned.
Married they were in St. Monica Catholic Church in Mama’s hometown and Daddy’s adopted one. Nimble seamstress Great-Aunt Agnes fashioned the bridal gown and those of Mama’s two attendants, her sister Adelaide and her cousin Mary. The bride’s dress was made of candlelight slipper satin with rows of small satin-covered buttons down the back and at the wrist. The flirty front slit beguiled the groom, who was dressed in a navy blue suit, crisp white shirt, and navy and white striped tie. A boutonnière of white roses adorned the suit’s lapel. One bridesmaid wore pale blue; the other attired in soft pink slipper satin. Mama’s bouquet, called a shower bouquet, held a bounty of white roses and delicate greenery. Satin ribbons with petite white roses fastened to the ribbons with small greenery cascaded from the bouquet. A wide lace- trimmed veil trailed after Mama, as did the train of the gown.
After the Mass, all celebrated with a wedding banquet at the bride’s family home. Mama related how they dined on chicken, pasta, asparagus [from the freezer], and salad. Another relative made the tiered white wedding cake. Amid good wishes and adieux, my parents left for their Niagara Falls honeymoon. They drove in the snow and ice of February for an even colder climate to begin their married life. They had their Italian love to sustain them, as it did throughout their 63 years of married life.
Ciao for now.
By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi