I decided several months ago - with Mom's enthusiastic approval - to pick up where Dad left off.
To the best of my ability, I hope to complete Dad's beloved project.
I have given it a lot of thought as to how to proceed, and have had many discussions with Mom, on whom I am relying as my primary source of information...and the keeper of all family photos. A couple weeks ago we had our first really productive gathering/organizing/brainstorming session, and here is what came of our efforts:
I started with their wedding portrait - which never fails to take my breath away - copied from an original print which hangs on my living room wall alongside several old family photos. One of the very first design decisions I made was to include a bit of heirloom Italian lace, from Della's own collection. Years ago my mother documented it (we affectionately called our grandmother "Dudie"):
From Dudie Notarianni's things:
This lace is from Italy and was part of the trousseau of her friend, the Countess Chilasotti, whose husband was the Italian Consul in Denver during the 1920's.
a peek inside my box of heirloom lace
The accompanying page features a copy of their marriage certificate and wedding announcement, which Mom and I discovered among the documents and photos Dad had assembled.
We know very little about the wedding ceremony, but we do know that Della's mother, Carmela, did not want Greg to marry her daughter. Grandpa told me once that he had to marry her...he just couldn't let her marry the older, well-to-do man that her mother had intended for her. Their in-law relationship remained strained after that.
Greg and Della were devoted to each other for almost 46 years, until my grandmother's death in 1968.
She was laid to rest in her wedding gown.