Exact ages were never discussed at Grandma’s house, doing so was considered the worst of bad luck. But it always seemed to outsiders that Aunt Del must have been the oldest of the six sisters and two brothers in the large Italian-American family.
Del, unlike all her sisters, never married and as the last unmarried daughter, it became her job to care for her aging parents.
This role has left her feeling that she must be the family protector against outside threats, including against the men and women who have taken away her sisters and brothers. Rather than call them in-laws to show they’ve joined the family, Del routinely calls them outlaws, her way of saying they have robbed her of her very precious family.
Del also is godmother to Faye and Sal’s son, a very important role in an Italian-American family. The son would routinely come to her when he felt troubled or upset and it wouldn’t be unusual or unexpected for her to show up to confront his parents about something going on in the kid’s life.