Incoronata Morsella was born in 1903 in a small farming village located in central Italy. She is my great-grandmother, my hero and the inspiration for creating Bring Back the Village. I had the amazing opportunity to know and love her for 18 years of my life. She left her physical body at the age of 95 but her spirit lives on in me and through my offerings at Bring Back the Village.
She was a midwife in her village, she embodied strength, taught us the importance of being of service to others and that simply being present for one another is enough. Oh, and there’s nothing a bowl of Pastina can’t cure!
She grew all her food in her garden, made pasta from scratch, taught me how to pick the stems off of string beans and let me eat as many figs from the fig tree as my heart desired. But she was more than just a nurturing great-grandmother, she was the pillar of our family. She was the gatekeeper of our family’s culture and it’s traditions. We carry her in our heart, always.
As a mother, I am in awe of her spirit and strength. She kept moving forward, no matter what hardships she encountered, she simply kept going. She suffered the loss of two babies; a daughter shortly after birth and a son at the age of 4. She raised her two daughters as a single parent for many years while her husband traveled to the United States to establish citizenship for his family. She left everything she knew and loved; her parents, her village, her role as midwife and traveled to the United States to create a new life for her family. In 1948 she waved goodbye to her village, boarded a boat with her teenage daughters and made the 10 day journey to Ellis Island. Without knowing the language, the customs, or even how to use a stove she began to establish her new life as an American.
The amount of love and compassion in her heart was magical. I feel blessed to have shared 18 years of my life with her. It is my intention to embody her teachings of strength, compassion and dedication to those in need through my offerings at Bring Back the Village. I am honored to be on this journey with all of you.
Thank you, “grandma with the short legs”. Hope to catch a visit from you in my dreams!