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Finding My Way Home

January 17, 2016

florenceduomoLife

For me, 2015 was a year of contradictions. There was much sadness with the memorial services for my dear mom, Rosemarie, and my Uncle Willie and I attended too many funerals of people I cared for. It was a year of getting to know my cousins and a year to understand life in its many dimensions. It was a year to pause on many occasions, cry my eyes out and laugh hard with those that I love.

Love

There are so many things that I have been grateful for this year. Most importantly it has been the constant love that has surrounded me by family and friends. I have been given many riches by their constant support of me and my latest novel Letters from Della.

Happiness

2015 was not my happiest year, nor was it my darkest. By June I knew I needed to create what happiness I could and that was to go home. What is home to you? To me it is Europe. I find beauty in going to a bakery in Germany and picking up a butter pretzel and drinking strong coffee. I love to practice my poor German and talk to anyone using a thick tongue that is used to English. Most importantly I need the architecture to ground me.

When my mom was super sick at the end of 2014 she asked me to visit her twin at Christmas of 2015. For whatever reason she knew that Uncle Willie wouldn’t make it for the holidays and he didn’t. So in the hottest summer that I can remember I started planning. Yes. I needed to see my aunt, Tante Brigitte. Yes. I needed a vacation. So I went to Germany on December 17th and spent four and one – half days with my beloved Aunt B. My cousins and two other aunts rallied. They took care of me and gave me kindness, love and food. Namely Spaetzle!!!

On that last Monday I visited downtown Stuttgart and thought I needed a map. I did not because this is where I lived for two years, where I visited since I was thirteen. I embraced it all and the past was with me; filled with enormous and wonderful memories.

That late afternoon I traveled to Florence via Amsterdam and was greeted by the concierge at the Hotel Donatello at 12:45 a.m. “Ms. Perry, we’ve been waiting for you.” he said.  And so it began. The journey was one of four wonderful days of seeking succor and peace. What I found was that my heart was whole again. The beauty of Florence is magical and if a soul needs  healing; Florence will do that. It will also overstimulate you and so you walk endlessly visiting the churches; St. Maria Novella, St. Croce, San Lorenzo, the Medici Chapel and it goes on. Then you feel you will miss something and you run like a banshee up the 238 steps to the  tower of the Palazzo Vecchio. I then toured the palace et al. In the apartment of elements a tour guide took me behind the scenes to see another view of the city and a frescoe that was being restored. I asked him why he was doing this and he said that I had been followed and that the other staff wanted me to see the splendor, because I got it. That’s how it went. One glorious thing after another! Enjoy the pics!

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