A recent post focused on where I went during my blogging break, but this post one is about why. Sometime this past September, my sister forwarded me an email that one of my mother’s two remaining sisters had died. Shortly thereafter, I realized that all four grandparents, Mom and Dad, and all my aunts and uncles had died – well, all but one – and one that I hadn’t seen in since 1964.
The thought of having only one person left on the family tree before me weighed on my mind for many weeks. I finally talked to my wife about what I had been thinking – the need to return to Italy, especially to see my aunt.
She asked questions, but to give her time to think, I didn’t bring it up again for about 3 weeks. Later, we agreed I would go during the time she was on a winter getaway with her sister.
Although I planned to go by myself, my wife asked if I would ask my sister to go along. I know that would be the right thing to do, but being that we are opposites, I knew 10 days was well beyond my 36-hour tolerance limit I eventually asked her because it was the right thing to do – Mama Mia, she said yes!
The trip was successful. All four first cousins not only greeted us upon arrival, but were active hosts treating us with wonderful meals, wine, and trips to classic Tuscan places as Pisa, Florence, Lucca, Cinque Terra, and San Gimignano. In my opinion, we were too active because travel and sightseeing wasn’t my goal. Then again, these are great sights and doing these things for us was important to my cousins!
One evening I went dancing with my oldest cousin and her husband. The same cousin also took me to the small village high on the mountain where my paternal grandparents lived. Heck, both of these experiences could be posts!
I saw my aunt every day. Even though I struggled with my words, I’m confident that she knew what I wanted to say – so in that sense, mission accomplished. I did get a chance to walk the city by myself, but not as much as I wanted.
As for my sister, no – we didn’t grow closer as my wife hoped … and once again, I will do the right thing by not saying much.