Rossana, Italy – Level 3


I do not have manynice memories as a child. I assume I am the only one who would never go back to childhood if I were given the chance to.

I was raised in an authoritarian way where cuddles were not conceived nor displayed. With time I realized that the way I was brought up was probably the only one my father knew because he was basically raised likewise. Four years ago, when he was diagnosed with serious disease, my bitterness and resentment turned into bigdespair and a sense of powerlessness.

One day, he needed to shave but he was so weak he could hardly talk or move. I felt I had to do that for him. At the beginning he didn’t want me to do it because he was so proud but he accepted eventually. I put my greatest attention not to cut him while shaving and felt I had to say something to interrupt that noisy silencebetween us…

“How am I doing dad? Am I hurting you?” I asked. He murmured, “You’re doing perfect.” Toease the moment even more with something funny I asked, “What do you think? Could I open a barber shop dad? Am I skilled enough?” His answer left me surprised, “Of course you could kid. You could do any job in your life and you would always succeed. Do you know why? Because you put passion and love in whatever you do.

That was the first and the last time he said something thoughtful to me. It was like he was trying, at the very end of his existence, to mend his errors. This last moment with him was a very meaningful lesson to me: we should all embrace forgiveness and let go resentment, to reach peace of mind and emotional healing.

His words stayed deeply in my heart and healed some wounds I thought would never leave me.My dad is still here with me. I know he’s there when I feel discouraged. I know he is there when white butterflies seem to follow me.Most importantly, I know he’s there when I look in the mirror, from the big brown eyes that are his, to his smile that reflects back at me.

Here is a real photo of Rossana and her dad:

author: Rossana  Internullo