Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Leaving you in the hospital to go to Italy

Youth is when your selfishness is somehow stomached, tolerated,

People say, do it while you are young.

If you have children, it’s difficult to take risks

That is when you are meant to be the protector, to put a curb on your carefree ways.

Nonna, I used to say hello to everyone. Everyone. Just like you. When I first gave birth I stopped saying so many hellos to so many people. I became like a mother bear, suspicious of surrounding strangers.

I didn’t used to think of the world as filled with strangers before. People I hadn’t met yet were still potential friends and acquaintances.

Now that Concetta is turning into a toddler and is interested in making friends, I am regaining my friendly ways, reaching out to the children around us, encouraging her to share her toys and baby dolls, which she hands to them easily waiting for their speech to and facial expressions. She loves to go up to children and say “Hi”. Just like you Nonna.

Everywhere we went together, you would hum and sing quietly and talk in a lilting voice. You always had a kind thing to say to anyone who crossed our path at K-Mart or the grocery store. “What a lovely smile, what a happy color you are wearing” she used to describe inanimate things as happy. This always made me see her as infinitely happy. So it surprised me when my mother told me Nonnie had suffered from depression when she was growing up. Nonnie, you did tell me that you sometimes felt trapped in the house without a car and all those children to care for. Especially after the whole gang of you moved from New York to Texas. That’s how I ended up being a Texan. My mom was just 13 or 14 when she moved here, and she married my Dad when she was 17. My sister and were born immediately after. And the love affair with Nonnie began.

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