Buono Pasqua

During Passover here in Italy, I got to see it in a different light. As an adult. The last time I remember seeing the gigantic chocolate eggs that could feed a family of a thousand, I was only 8 or 9. The symbolism of it as a child meant I had a lot of chocolate to consume, and that there was no symbolism for me.
Seeing now as an adult, the tradition of getting children these large eggs is like watching Christmas time in spring where kids can't wait to crack open their eggs. No they don't do Easter egg hunts, and they don't talk about large rabbits either that hid all of the eggs around the city. They get together in masses, they come from all over Italy and celebrate Passover with their families.
The traditions of corporate Easter have never been much of a glorified holiday in our house, so as I got older, I never really understood the whole egg hunting thing aside from it being fun, kids ending up with a little more cavities in the year and corporations banking on a holiday that is over in a blink of an eye. I am not trying to make it sound like my parents stunted me as a child in not believing in these things, but I think when you start to notice that bunnies really can't grow to be 6 feet tall and let you sit on their lap in a mall to take a photo with it, you know someone is lying to you about something.

The good thing about Pasqua with an Italian family is that they were more inviting than I thought they were going to be. I didn't think they were going to be monsters, but I wasn't expecting such a warmness that comes with knowing people for a really long time.
I met Elisabetta's sister and brother-in-law, coginis,  2 sets of nonnis, a zio and zia, and I met nonna. The effervescent nonna. Throughout the day I sat in the kitchen talking about Italian cuisine and language barriers and life in Milan. I heard stories about them and their parents and who was who and who did what. The lunch atmosphere was no different. Full of laughter, me trying to speak Italian and them trying to speak English. Me being impressed by them saying nice to meet you and them being impressed by me knowing a few words. (Still not enough to make full sentences).

After lunch we were going to accompany nonna to the cemetery where her late husband was, and the view was amazing. I have never seen a cemetery quite like this one. Once you get to the top you see all the lives that are gone. The respect that goes into these grave sites are amazing. Nonna stood over her husband's grave with her youngest daughter (Elisabetta's aunt) and she was dabbing tears from her face. I paid my respect and that is not something I've ever gotten to do. I mean I think in my life I've gone to 4 funerals. Each one lives a good distance away so I have never been able to pay my respects, or visit their grave site. I clutched my camera and felt my nose tingling a little bit and I felt a hot tear in my eye. I walked away from the site and over to a view that overlooked this panoramic view of the city. I began to cry a little bit and thought about how when my grandfather passed away I didn't have any emotion really. The only emotion I had was for how I had desperately wished my dad had gotten to have the same relationship with his dad as I do with my dad. My heart broke. So I'm sitting here paying my respects to someone else's grandfather and father and husband, and couldn't help but think about all of these different emotions of really respecting someone's life.

And even though my dad didn't necessarily have the type of relationship he wanted with his dad, he get's to continue such a great legacy in being a follower of Christ. And having a family that loves God whole heartedly. So I am thankful I get to have a relationship with my dad because when we are all eventually gone from this earth, I know that I will never have had a regret about what family God placed me in, the father he gave me, the mother he gave me, and the sister he gave me.

So this Pasqua, that was something I reflected on and was glad for the revelation.


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