On May 12, 1935, Giulia was being served up the queen’s treatment: a surprise breakfast in bed and now, surrounded by flowers and candies, she leaned back with her feet propped up on a fluffy ottoman in the parlor of her lovely Los Angeles home.
Her doorway was abuzz with activity. Friends and neighbors were dropping in with presents in their arms and kisses on their lips. And her children were arriving one by one. Soon, seven of them would be there. This Mother’s Day had almost not happened and everyone was making sure it was a special one for her. Her heart attack last September had left her weak and ruined her sight and hearing and they were sure that the only thing keeping her going was the love she had for her family. Especially her baby. He’d always taken care of his mama like nobody else. He never forgot her. She was so proud of him.“Nicola,” she called out to her husband, “Is my bambino here yet?”
Nicola approached her from behind and placed one hand on her shoulder and crossed himself with the other. His eyes watered at the mention of their son.“Cucciola mia… I’m sorry. Russ called earlier... He’s still making that picture in England but sends his love.”
Giulia sighed softly.“Maybe for Christmas…”
But Russ wouldn’t make it home that Christmas. Or the next. Popular singer and actor Russ Columbo had died in a freak accident while Giulia was still recovering in the hospital from her heart attack. Afraid that the news would kill her, her family decided to keep it a secret. Russ would be forevermore on “an extended European trip.”Ten years on, Giulia still hadn’t seen her son, but her dying words were "Tell Russ I am so proud..."