Friday, October 7, 2011

Sometimes It Lasts in Love But Sometimes It Hurts Instead

A lot of people always say that "a year ago they wouldn't have seen themselves here" or "5 years ago I never thought I would be doing what I am doing today." Personally, I have never thought that at least not that I remember. Today, as I was driving back from getting my nails done, I thought that very thing. A year ago today I was with my Grandma in Atlanta. She had just had her colon removed and we were about to be discharged back to Albany. Why an 87 year old woman was being discharged ( 3 hrs away) just a few days after her operation is beyond me and also quite sad regarding our health care industry. Supposedly the doctor did not know that she didn't live in the Atlanta area. How terrible as a doctor to actually admit that to a family. So this surgery started a long line of several problems for her. Little did we know that in less than a year she would be gone. She was someone that everyone loved and she made everyone feel so special. When she moved to her assisted living she was the life of the party. She used to always laugh and say these people were too old for her. I would love to go visit and we would just sit and listen to music or watch "The Bachelor" or "American Idol." She loved that show. But she also loved to watch "One Tree Hill" with me! That woman did everything! Mostly though we just sat around and talked about everything. She always loved to hear about my love life and which guys were calling me at that time. She was always asking about dates I had gone on or listening to me talk about my broken heart. I would listen to her tell me about what was going on there at the assisted living and she would give me the gossip (trust me there's a LOT of gossip at these places! ) Even now, I can still hear things that she would say and I just die laughing. She had a few favorite quotes and she would say them all the time. She was the belle of every ball. I miss her so much. She taught me so much in just a few short years. I wish that I had spent more time with her growing up. In just a few short years, she gave me enough advice to last the rest of my life. I still can't believe she's gone. Even now as I'm crying, I can hear her say "That's life. We live and we die. It's nothing to be sad or upset about." Her birthday was on the 4th of October. She would have been 88 years old. We were talking about taking a trip for her birthday! I really wish we could have taken that trip.

So here we are a year later. She has passed and I have moved to Italy. If I wasn't living it myself I would think it was unfathomable. I feel so sorry that she is not here to listen to my stories. Not just because I have someone to tell them to but because she would truly want to know about everything. She would be so proud of me and be so excited to tell everyone that I moved to Europe. I can just hear her asking all about the fashion cause the Good Lord knows she loved clothes! So I am here missing her alot! This week has been very sad for me because of her birthday but instead of me continuing to be sad I am going to do something different. I am going to be happy. Happy that I had the chance to love her while she was here. Happy to have experienced her wonderful spirit that this world has never seen before and will never see after. I am going to be happy that I have the chance to emulate her life and to try to encourage others they way she did. The best legacy you can leave someone is your life and only hope that you have impacted their life in some way. She has impacted so many lives and I can only hope for the same.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Week as an Immigrant!

Well, I have just had my first week as a full-fledged occupant of a foreign country. The first picture is the view from the house that I live in in Italy! Awesome! I have to be honest. It's definitely not as glamorous as it sounds. I didn't realize the culture shock that would ensue after that horrible airport situation(s)...First I need to mention the plane ride!! I flew standby and was scheduled to fly to Venice on a Sunday. My flight had already been delayed one day and then it was delayed again! So on Monday, September 5th, I was supposed to be spending it in Italy. Instead, I spent it in a smelly hotel room. Thankfully, the guy in front of me at the check in desk asked me to dinner and I had some delicious pancakes seasoned with intelligent conversation. I finally flew into Rome the next day. They had to re-route my flight and my luggage was supposed to re-route with me. Of course, you can imagine it did not. (Have I mentioned how much luggage I have for the next year out of the U.S.!?) So I spent an hour in the Rome airport trying to track down my suitcases. I then took a train to Verona where a very sweet non-English speaking man picked me up from the airport. He drove me to Venice to pick up my bags. Upon retrieval, I noticed that the large front pocket was broken and torn. Now inside that pocket happened to hold most of my shoes (some of which I have just recently purchased) along with a few outfits. The people in Venice did not seem to care (and they also closed early) so off I go back towards"home". After all my emails and phone calls I still don't have a resolution for the lost items.
I arrive at the house where I will be staying and I am there for a few days at first by myself. That was definetly needed because all I did was sleep. Then Tatiana (the mom) came home from her business trip and drove me around and showed me some different places in Verona. We took a trip to the fish market as well as the grocery store. That was definitely an adventure! I have never seen so much fish in my life! The next day was a Sunday and Alessandro came home from spending the weekend with his father. That little boy is precious. He just looks up at you with his blonde hair and big eyes and starts speaking in another language. It is seriously the cutest thing ever! I have spent the last week running errands and getting situated. I still have not unpacked all my things. I have been so busy! I had to take driving lessons this week because I do not know how to drive a stick shift. That in itself was shameful! I am soo glad that I have taken them though because this traffic is unreal! They are so so aggressive and they have different rules than they do in the states. I can honestly say that I can drive a manual car really good now! They are so much fun! Today was the first day I went to the grocery store by myself. I needed some items. One of the things that I needed was lotion. I picked up the lotion and other items and
then ate at this little ristorante and ate some pizza! When I got home I put the lotion all over my body and then realized that if felt a little thicker than normal! I decided to get my italian dictionary out and realized I had just put shower gel all over me!! What a disaster! It sucks not knowing the language!! haha
They do so many things differently...even just in the way they recycle and pick up garbage. I have had to put a lot in this brain over the last week. I have so much to say but I suppose I can wait till the next post! I have had a long first week so I am sure once I get the hang of everything that it will be beyond amazing!!!!