It’s chilly and rainy outside today as I sit here with my small heater blasting on my feet while a million things are flying around in my head. The big move to Santa Barbara, California is now only 12 days away. Yes, 12 days!! To put it not so lightly, it kind of makes me want to hurl.
But amongst all of my planning, emailing movers…tearing my hair out, I receive an exciting email from a very distant cousin (because as my husband says “the way you Italians define ‘cousin’, all of Italy must be related”). I have been searching for family military photos to make a collage at home as a daily reminder for all they have done for our country. Attached to the email from my cousin Patty was this amazing photo of my Great Aunt Esther Bongiovanni. Aunt Esther entered the Army as a nurse in 1943 and served most of her life to our country retiring from the Army in 1976 as a Lt. Colonel. Sadly, she passed away last year. I will always remember her as my amazingly hysterical aunt who would ask for a tablespoon of olive oil because, “it helps coat my stomach so I can have two martinis”, she’d declare while giving off one of her contagious chuckles. Then she’d sing us a song or two and tell us about her adventures in life.
Now looking at this photo, I am reminded of how important photography is to family history. When I photograph a wedding or a portrait session, I like to think of the great grandchildren who will be looking at these photos one day. Noticing how beautiful their great grandmother was as a bride and telling their own stories about their ancestors.
Thank you Aunt Esther for all that you did for our country and I am so happy I had the opportunity to know you!