I was in Tuscany in September for a craniosacral training. It was a pretty intense course, lots of old memories of my parents started randomly creeping in. It was deeply healing but also pretty confronting at the same time. During one of the breaks a classmate and I took the bus to Florence for the day. It was the perfect afternoon, the sun was shining brightly and it was warm. Florence is such a vibrant and bustling city. There were people everywhere. Many were walking around eating gelato, others were doing the tourist thing--taking photos in front of the incredible surroundings and the rest seemed to be passionately making out in the middle of the streets.
The last time I had been to Italy was 11 years earlier. I was an exchange student for a semester in college and although my Dad never made it to visit, he enjoyed hearing all about my trip whenever I called or wrote. My Mom had been dead for about four or five years at the time but I was still pretty much a wreck. I was a good student but I definitely enjoyed too much wine to buffer my emotions. Whenever one of my roommate's Mom came to visit I almost felt violated. It was like someone opened me up and ripped that old bandaid off of my heart. It was painful and it always left me feeling extremely alone. I used to enjoy wandering around and getting lost by myself. It made me feel more connected to my Mom and reminded me (somehow) that I was OK.
It was strange and nostalgic to be back in the city that helped restore my heart all those years ago. I was walking around in a daze really missing my Father. So many thoughts about my childhood and then many more about my future without my Dad raced by. My friend and I stopped for a moment near the Duomo. A small crowd was gathered around a cute old Italian man. He was sitting on a stone bench, animatedly playing the violin. I got a little closer and my jaw dropped. The man was playing my Dad’s song, My Way by Frank Sinatra. We played that song at the funeral as his final send off. I stood there with my mouth open in complete shock and awe. There was a feeling of magic in the air. I felt reassured for a moment that I was in exactly the right place, on exactly the right path. I felt a gentle and welcomed tug on that old bandaid. The charm of Florence was mending me once again. I cried tears of sadness and joy as I realized that my Dad finally made it to visit me in Italy.