Coming home to Italy for me it’s always a gift: Seeing family, eating great food, recharge, re-think of the past that once was, running in the deserted streets of Rome where you can only see tourists in the mist of a torrid summer Sunday. Then there is the red wine, the juicy mozzarella and the fresh fruits at the sweet taste of salty sea water and sand.
This time though my trip home was a bit different, but quite a bit more rewarding. The gift was as good as eating a double-chocolate-chips scoop of ice cream in a candied cone with whipped cream on top of it: My grandfather, Bruno Valabrega, made it this way for me.
Few months ago when I last saw him I thought I was never to see him again. He had been in the intensive care unit for over a month and he did not show any sign of getting better. Well indeed, he held his head above water and taught as a lesson or two about life and how precious this may be no matter the hardships and suffering one must encounter along the path.
I am so happy to say today, almost four months later, that my grandpa is running around the hospital in a wheel chair (he was on a hospital bed for 3 months), he speaking (he had lost his words because of the tracheostomy) and we are making arrangements to bring him back home with us *(well, I will be in NYC, but everyone else will be so lucky to share such wonderful presence for as long as we shall hope for).