Updated: Jul 26
It's been a rough few weeks.
My beloved father in law lost his battle with cancer on January 21st. He was Stefano's last parent, his mom passed from cancer over 20 years ago.
We made the last minute trip to Tuscany to say goodbye. I thought a lot about how our loved ones decide when it's time to leave this earth. It's not our decision as a daughter, friend, mother, aunt. My father in law, Almerico, knew we were on our way over the great blue ocean. He chose to let his body time out and left his body before we arrived. At first I was angry that we didn't leave sooner, but Alme wanted it this way. The pain and suffering he endured was something he didn't want his son and daughter in law to see.
I'm happy he is not suffering anymore and is at peace. I felt him the whole time I was at my in laws house. He was there. He was happy to see us supporting his love, Fernanda.
This trip was the first one we've done in winter. The light and atmosphere were all so different. Aside from having an emotional and spiritual first few days, the rest of our time was quite calm and peaceful.
From my walks around my in laws home in the hills to the funeral of Alme, I allowed my tears to flow. I allowed myself to FEEL.
Another thing I noticed was how much I felt at home in Tuscany.
It's been 8 years since I left my life in Florence behind. And every time I travel back, its like I've never left. My close friend, Laura, said to me when we met last September, "I feel like you are still living here and taking to bus, riding your bike in Florence". Laura has been living in Florence for almost 15 years and we started our expat working lives together in 2008. Those days of being in our late 20s strolling the ancient cobblestones popping into one wine bar to the next in Florence are gone.
Now the vision I have for us (Stefano & I) is living there permanently sooner rather than waiting until retirement age.
That is why I'm dedicating myself to Truly Italy. In any way I can bring Italy, travel, presence into someone's life, then I know I'm practicing my vision and sharing my heart with the world.
When I moved back in 2013, to my childhood home, to American life again, (hated it), I felt like I had to give up my dream of ever moving back to Italy. I thought I had to stay in the suburbs of Chicago for the rest of my life.
These past two years have taught me one thing: NEVER GIVE UP. My dream to show people Italy is coming to life.
Another thing I've learned: I HAVE A CHOICE in creating my future. And my choice is moving back to Tuscany.