Saturday, September 12, 2009

Non proprio italiana

I started writing this blog several months ago but off-line. Today after speaking on Skype with the love of my life, I have decided it's time to begin. We spoke this morning of cultural differences. For this blog, I've decided to name him Leo Leone to protect his identity. Leo and I have been a couple for 10 years now. He is Italian and I am Not Quite Italian. Leo has a wife of almost 40 years. Culturally for him it is acceptable to love another as long as he maintains the family facade. As an American I am the scorned "other woman" or "home breaker." I have not broken up any homes but I accept the fact now that I am the other woman. I had a friend once who was a "home breaker" and her true love gave up his past life for her. I was always hoping for a compromise. I prayed Signora Leone would find the love of HER life and we would all live happily ever after. A few months ago, all of our lives changed permanently. My sweet Leo has cancer and is trapped in a hospital bed.

Leo hopes to go home soon. He also hopes he can change the atmosphere at home. For their sakes I pray this can happen, because for the months ahead he will be semi-bedridden.

During our phone conversation today, I spoke of reference to the unspoken things which happen or do not happen in relationships. In our lives, if we let the personal "dust" accumulate for too long, it piles up. The dust soon becomes thick and eventually it settles into dirt or "terra." After years and years of avoiding issues this terra becomes terracotta or "cooked earth." We're all familiar with terracotta pots. They're hard and durable yet shatter instantly if dropped. I worry about Leo and Mrs. Leone. The dust they ignored for years is now a hard shell around their marriage. He is vulnerable now. He needs to be well-cared for at home. Does she know about me? I suspect yes, but like the other dust which has accumulated, it's not really that important to her. did I come to be Not Quite Italian?

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