Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–why?

I just finished watching my biological father’s funeral. The funeral home gave me and my brother each a DVD for our archives. The funeral is also online which is where I watch it.

And I don’t know why I did tonight. I was free-associating online. Hopping from one website to another when I landed on YouTube. I decided I wanted to hear k.d. Lang’s version of Hallelujah. Her rendition gives me chills. It was from there that I went to my father’s funeral because her recording was used during a slide show presentation at the end.

I’m glad I watched it. Sometimes I think we fight doing things because we think it’s stupid or is of no use. I try to let my feelings and my mind take me rather than struggle. Tonight I’m glad I did.

I watched my eulogy and once again was able to gather a crumb of realization. I watched the slide show and marveled at the photos of my brother and my father. They were so close. They fought and drove each other nuts, but they were inseparable spiritually and emotionally. My father was so proud of my brother. My brother so adored my father. It’s beautiful to see in the photos.

I was honored to be able to give a eulogy. I was honored to read a poem from my beloved cousin, Sergio, in Italy. I was glad to participate in the funeral–choosing flowers, choosing the pastor, the music and handling details the funeral home couldn’t. It was an honor to honor him in that way.

Yes, an honor. The man who abused me for thirty years. WHY THE HELL DO WE WAIT UNTIL SOMEONE IS DEAD BEFORE WE WAKE UP???

Sorry, that was my way of venting. But it bears repeating. Clarity always comes after death. Why didn’t I understand him beforehand? Why didn’t I “get it”? Why was I so damned self-centered that I demanded my father be the father wanted rather than accept the only type of father he could be? Why was I so obsessed with getting what I wanted? Why did I create so many problems?

And let’s face it. I did create problems. I was too asleep mentally to see what my presence was doing in my bio family. All I could do was observe everything from an infantile metric–how everything impacted me. I didn’t see how my presence upset the apple cart and how my presence exacerbated already entrenched family squabbles. I wanted what I wanted and everyone else was irrelevant. Of course I clashed with my father. God.

And these sentiments play into this move to Italy. Why? Is it a desire to revel in my heritage? To know my family better without intruding into their lives? To get in touch with my “inner Italian”? Is there a void left by my father that I hope to fill in Alba Adriatica, Italy?

In no way am I suggesting that I will remain in America. I’m still going. Yet, when I get these mini-epiphanies, my mind starts working overtime even more than normal. I try to understand. I want to understand everything and understand it now. Yet I know that everything happens for a reason and in the right season. I suppose I should be happy for the little epiphanies that come because they’ll prepare me to accommodate the bigger ones that wash down the pike later.

When I’m ready.



2 thoughts on “Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–why?

  1. I was an expatriate for many years, and would recommend the experience. Given your roots, it’s more important for you than most, and also–not to be morbid–but you should go while you can still get around well. Let’s face it: once you hit the half-century mark, it’s time to ‘get real’ with decisions. And this is a good one. I am so happy that you are going.

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