The little bride in this photo is my mum, Salvatrice Candiano. She was born 78 years ago today and will never be a grandmother and she’s totally okay with it. She tells me frequently that children are too much work (thanks mum, I’m an only child so…)

Mum’s dad died 2 months before she was born in a US air strike of Sicily in 1943. She lost her 7 year-old sister that day, too. Her mum, 7 months preggers, hid in a closet and she was found there, after the bombs demolished their home, with a gash across her belly. She survived, and so did my mum.

But don’t lay down any fireworks around her, or close a cupboard door loudly because she’ll lose her shit. Mum’s a complicated lady, and our relationship is very complex. But she’s resilient, even though she says she’s not. She taught me that. I like her more every day.

Happy birthday mamma.

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