Any excuse to fly back to Italy is perfect for me and with my cousin Rosetta’s wedding in May of 2010, we did just that. It was a shame my brother wasn’t able to attend for it could have been a great family trip. With my parents and 2 sisters along for the ride, we start the adventure.
We start the laughs with a quick golf cart ride to the gate. Board and venture our way to the first stop. New York. Having a few contacts at Delta Air Lines, my good friend Donny grants us entry to the lounge. With complimentary food and beverage, along with a more relaxed environment, waiting for our long haul flight makes it all that easier.
As quickly we clear customs, we pick up our rental and start the drive towards Cassino. With my dad’s start of Alzheimer’s in 2009, having him sit in front along side of me may have not been such a good idea. His continuous repetitive conversations, his non-stop arm poking and never-ending reading of every traffic sign from Rome to Cassino, the 2 hour drive couldn’t have ended sooner. Actually, to be honest, it truly didn’t phase me and every mile was pleasurable knowing this is where he grew up. I keep mentioning in many blogs that history was never my favorite subject, but as I grow older, it is the subject that interests me the most.
Just before entering the little town of S’ant Angelo in Theodice, I stop the car to allow my parents walk along hand in hand to trigger some nostalgic moments of their past. All while my sisters thought I was fed up and kicking them out of the car.
We arrive at my aunt’s house and without missing a beat, lunch is served, laughs are heard from miles away and stories of the past are told over and over again. I am sure living through the 2nd world war and being close to such bombardments, have made them realize the true sense of family and how they take care of one another.
They have a tradition in which the night before the wedding, the groom-to-be climbs up a ladder to the bride’s room and sings a romantic song to her. Seeing times have changed, they now use sky lifts. Friends and family surround him and make a festive evening of it. It was great being part of the serenade and if there are any reasons to have more food late at night, this could very well be another.
We did our rounds in visiting family members and while shopping at a local market, we end up meeting my cousin and his parents from Arizona. Talk about a coincidence!
Many events that happened during this trip were extremely funny and if one tries to recount it after the fact, it won’t have nearly the same effect. In brief, the two incidents that have kept their humor and keep coming up when we get together, are the conversations with a family member from Glasgow and a remark from a distant friend that presumed my mom suffered a nervous twitch. On both these instances, we have laughed so hard for so long that our stomachs were in pain the remainder of the trip.
The wedding day was perfect. From the sun shining down, to the fresh breeze all around. From the roasters waking everyone up to the altar boys lighting up the church candles. We all congregated by the Piazza for a group picture to which everyone will always look back at.
The reception was held at “il Rubino” and its courtyard was impressive with all surrounding palm trees. Cocktails and finger foods were being passed around and with no end in sight, we continue our main meal indoors. One thing is for sure in these Italian weddings; there are never any shortages of food.
It was the year 1937 in which my dad was born and we had to take a picture over 70 years later of the same passage way, same area and the home he lived in. I can just imagine how it makes one feel taking a trip back to memory lane and visually remembering their life from their glory to their hardships. My question that day was figuring out if he did remember or has his Alzheimer taken the best of him.
The flight back was great seeing my family was able to sit in Delta’s business class. Rita had a hard time setting up the massage option on her seat but after some time, the true meaning of sit back, relax and enjoy the flight became a reality.