Before my brother and his wife moved to Rome, I’d already signed myself up for a trip to visit. I’ll be honest, though of course the trip was made in order to see them and their new home, I was eager to go because, in addition to seeing them, I would have the opportunity to see a country I’ve dreamed of visiting since I was a child.
Where my irrationally abundant pride for my Italian heritage comes from, I don’t know. Possibly from the fact that my 100% Hungarian mother cooked Italian meatballs and lasagna on the regular. Another likely reason could be that the movie sacred to most Italian Americans, The Godfather, was basically required viewing by my father for any of us to remain in the family.
As the time approached, Hubby and I realized our newest family member might have a little difficulty adjusting if we had to leave him for so long so soon in his time with us*. We didn’t want to lose everything he had gained in training, so Hubby decided it would be best if he stayed back and I went to Italy alone.
*This November, he will have been ours for a whole year!
This decision produced within me a teetering battle of sadness and excitement.
During the eleven years we have been married, I’ve shared nearly every trip, every new place, every incredible view with him. And now, I would be going somewhere guaranteed to be filled with historical and natural beauty everywhere…without him.
On the other hand, I would be taking on an adventure, seeing what my resilience and endurance would be like when I was all on my own…completely without him.
The day before I left, I fought nerves over what felt like a million firsts about to come into effect in my life. My first time flying alone. My first vacation without my husband. My first trip to Italy. And so many other firsts which were to come over the course of the following two weeks.
Without getting to the end before I’ve finished the beginning, I’ll say this. This trip was better than I ever could have imagined and has rattled the very core of who I am. Most vacations I come back inspired and eager to insert something I’ve learned or experienced into my life. This trip, however, was one which never should have happened to begin with. Less than two years ago, I wasn’t even speaking to my brother, but only weeks ago we were spending every single day together.
I promise, the soon-to-come Italy posts will not be filled with overly sappy sibling love, but it would be amiss of me to tell you of all the breathtaking sights we saw, the delicious foods we ate, and heartwarming times we spent together without acknowledging the starved and broken past we also share and have risen above.
It is always my hope that our story can help inspire yours.