December 15, 2023
It has been a while since I have posted. As John Lennon said, Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
December snuck up on me this year. I just turned 72 years old and have been living in Italy for almost 7 years now. I am so happy being a straniera in Italia, a non-native born in Italy. Yet, I have been struggling.
Over the last 18 months I have been experiencing a plethora of challenges. Some have been physical. When I turned 70, I felt like I was perhaps in my 50s. I have had physical issues since I was a child. I almost did not move to Italy for fear of complications with those things. Yet they have not been an issue. Italian medical personnel have been comparable to those in the USA.
But, I am now feeling my age more because my body has decided to give me more physical things to live with. IT IS NOT CANCER. I won’t be dying anytime soon. However, I have some new challenges and new medications and I have been fighting this aging process.
All of my life I have been a fighter. It has been beneficial for my survival, for my business, and my life in general. Still, I can’t fight this. It is what it is. Getting old is not for sissies.
It took me 18 months to surrender to the idiosyncrasies of life in Italy. It seems as though this has been another 18 month long fight with myself. How do other people do this? I really want to know.
Another part of this aging process that I fight is the fact that my family and friends are aging too. Since I moved to Italy, I have lost 2 friends to cancer, 6 Italian- born relatives I love, and, in the last couple years, 7 American relatives who were all very important to me. I lost a couple musician friends too. We had a bond similar to a family member. It feels as though I am losing part of my musical soul.
I HATE THIS.
Beyond those losses, my contemporary family members and friends are becoming Ill. Even my sister’s dog who has been like my dog healer to me died suddenly a few weeks ago.
After my cousin Pat passed, I spoke with his brother via the phone for an hour. We cried together, shared funny stories and commiserated. I think we both needed that. I have missed all those funerals, those times of heartbreaking comradery where we jointly share the loss and the memories. That realization helped me to understand why all of these happenings, all these small to gigantean wounds have been affecting me as they have.
I needed to step back, to let myself feel all of it in order to accept it, to surrender to the reality of life.
My healing process began with silence and stepping away from socializing. Next ingredient necessary for my soul healing was music, tons of music.
Talking across the miles to my daughter, my granddaughter, and even my 99 year old dad with dementia is a healing experience.
NOTE: One unexpected benefit of a father with dementia—he sang happy birthday to me 5 times. He still sings on key at his age.
Please bear with me. There will be more travel stories, living in Italy adventures. Right now I need to contemplate life and dance kn my living room.
P.S. Forgive any typos. My computer seems to have died too. This is coming to you via finger typing on my phone.
Buone Feste. Happy holidays.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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