My Italian Coma

Mefli Mountainside

Now entering the 6 month mark of my return from Italia I am still deep in that half way zone. Part of me still living and breathing in Melfi and part of me still plugging along here in the States. My sister say’s I am in my Italian coma. It’s true, I am and so torn between the two worlds. The pull to each place becomes unbearable at times. The hours spent daydreaming of what my life might be if I moved there permanently, while I am working here trying to fix all of the mistakes and happenings of my recent past. Continuing to ask myself daily if I can leave this place I’ve known as my home for 57 years.

All I have ever known is here in Rochester, NY. My city, the place I know like the back of my hand. The years of my youth spent downtown working, shopping and hanging out with friends. The years of my thirties and forties I spent owning and running businesses, meeting and greeting the community. Working 6 days a week for decades. Before this trip I had not had a vacation since 1993. A weekend to NYC once or twice, a trip to DC for a few days but that’s about it.

Hours after landing in Italia I felt like I was home. Though everything was different both culturally and language wise, it still felt like I belonged. I was comfortable. It didn’t seem foreign to me in any way. Yes, the landscape was different, the lifestyle much more laid back. Walking the streets of Melfi you can’t help but notice the beauty and history. It surrounds you, in every step you take and every breath you breathe. The old roads and paths that at first glance seem like mazes, take you through the centuries and yet people are still living, working, moving about with purpose, chatting with neighbors and friends. A community of people tightly woven together. Of course every one was kind to me, I was a guest in their beautiful and magnificent city. They heard of my story, they knew why I came but what they didn’t know was the fact that they had captured my heart. 

I had 10 days in Melfi. Every day was planned out for me, my meals, my visits, my rest times were organized like a fine symphony. I’m sure that would change if I moved there! People will go on with their lives, their day to day and so they should. Anyone that knows me knows I am not a “center of attention” person. Though I was treated like a celebrity for a few days, I could never be one.

Yesterday we had a family dinner for my niece’s 38th birthday. We joked and called it the 8th anniversary of her 30th. She was the first born grandchild, my light and my love since her birth. Now she’s a mother of 2, owns her own business and since I can remember has followed most of my footsteps through life. I couldn’t be any closer to anyone on this earth. Her sister, my second love, born on my birthday and named after me, held the dinner at her home. She also is a mother of 2. I’ve been there for every party, every birth and every celebration. While wandering about her home something struck me; with all of the family photo’s scattered around the house, there is not one photo of me. Not with them, not with their children. The same is true at my sister’s home, and my other nieces home. Family photo’s everywhere, friends photo’s everywhere but not a single photo of me. Am I too sensitive? Maybe, but I have been so much a part of these three peoples lives for so many years how is it that they don’t have a single picture of me? Yes, I am hurt by this and I wonder, will it really matter to them if I leave? If I move to Italia? Would I be missed here? Somehow, I think only one of them would really, really be sad and heartbroken if I left. But she doesn’t have a photo of me hanging anywhere in her house.

My mother is a very sickly 84 and I highly doubt she will make it to her 85th. It would suck to be in another country when she passed. Then there is my absolutely wonderful dog Honey who is showing her age. I love her more than anything, she is my savior each and everyday. I can take her with me, but whether or not she’d survive the trip is questionable. I work for the best veterinarian ever and I question the quality of vet care she’d get there. I should probably stay for now.

I’ve rebuilt my life after a devastating period, I would have to start all over again but this time in a different country. There’s so much to think about, so many questions and yet the pull is so strong. I’ve made some really bad decisions in the past that put me to where I am today, would this be another? Is it better to dream or take the leap of fate? So much of the emphasis is money based. Money that I don’t have.

I think for now I will stay in my Italian Coma, wait it out and let destiny do it’s thing. I will hold closely the memories of my journey, the accomplishments I made, the reward for my sacrifices and pray for the answer to reveal itself.


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8 Responses to My Italian Coma

  1. MG — As a business colleague of mine wisely said some time ago, “Don’t let it happen; make it happen.” Teaching English at a language school might work for you, and, with all the paperwork in order, you can bring your dog along, too. Don’t worry, there are good veterinarians here in Italy, you just have to shop around to find the right one. And, if you decide to move over here, a nice going-away gift to your family would be a photo of you and your dog. If you really want to live over here, start making plans, serious plans, now.

    • I have a cousin in Melfi that owns a Maid Service. She offered me a job while I was there. I’m thinking that might be a good way to earn money without the worries of not knowing the language. I can learn as I go, I picked up quite a bit in the short time I was there. There is a British School in Melfi, another cousin co owns that, I was given a tour of the school.

      For me right now the logistics are overwhelming. Passing the pros and cons back and forth some days is like a slow torture. But I fell in love with Italy and the pull is amazing.
      Thank you for your comments and support. It has helped – a lot.

      Yes, a nice photo of me and Honey would be a great going away gift!!

  2. clinock says:

    you touched my heart with your beautifully expressed dreams and longing – I’ve been there, had similar dreams – a friend in the place I wanted to move said to first come for 6 months or a year if it could be managed – to see how I felt then, after experiencing everyday life for a long period and the seasonal changes etc. All in all I’m with Palladian Traveler – we have one life to live and although making such a huge change may be difficult what do you have to lose? You have a ready made family in Melfi so it’s not as if you will be a stranger there and I’m sure they all have photos of you on their ancient walls! Vive la vostra vita…

    • Thanks John, yes a 6 month stay has crossed my mind as well.
      I do have a huge family in Melfi and certainly a temporary place to stay until I could get on my feet.

      As I mentioned earlier to Palladian Traveler; the logistics are overwhelming and the fear of making yet another bad decision tops it off. But you’re right, I only have this life and it’s mine to make or break.

  3. Lunch Sketch says:

    Agree with your closing thoughts. All the best.
    Love the term Italian Coma BTW 🙂

  4. rommel says:

    What a hangover! And an ongoing contemplation with that. I don’t really know what to say. I would love to just say Go! as I love Italy so much. But then again, the feeling that youhad there might just be something you really really long of that it came out so good. Forgive me to say but fantasy might not be as good as reality. Life is simpler in Italy, well most countries other than America :D. As long as you’re content and you get by, then you’re good to go. And I tell you this, you gotta risk it to get the biscuit. 😀 We all gotta start or restart somewhere. It is feasible. Just be smart about it.

    Along me to share talk more and share my story. 😀 Me and my family started with a clean slate when we arrived to California 10 years ago. We quite had something in the Philippines before. We gave it all up in hopes that we can start anew to that land of dreams. We got to California. Do our thing, job, establish our assets. None of it was easy. 10 years and we’re still kicking. 😀 Happiness is what sticks. Material things don’t.

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