I had the pleasure of being in the company of a loving Italian family celebrating their parents 50th wedding anniversary last month. But wait, doesn’t love and all things Italian walk hand in hand? As soon as the portraits started to take shape along Kingston’s waterfront of this family of 5 children and their spouses and children, I immediately felt the warmth, closeness and humour among them.

Soon afterwards we traveled to the Italo-Canadian Club where the anniversary couple greeted their guests with open arms and celebration. Witnessing the warm embraces of treasured long-time friends and family brought to mind memories of my youth. My mom comes from an Italian and Spanish heritage and her father, whom we called Poppy, would greet my arrival into his home by taking my small face into his hands and kiss each side of my face very slowly, over and over again while his rough whiskered face burned my cheeks. I saw those same hands reach for faces at this anniversary and it brought a smile to my face knowing there are cultures who know how to show their love and admiration openly and confidently.

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