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.