As I get older, and I engage in writing down my memories, I'm cognizant of the fact that we never know when our last letter will be written, our last thoughts documented.
What choices did I have in front of me, and was aware I had the choices?
I married a couple of years out of college. It was love at first sight, and for me, the things and people I gave up in that decision were not clear until decades later. I wanted to be married, spend all my time with a man I met and couldn't live without. I had no idea what I was giving up.
We marry because we fall in love. What happens next takes a life of its own.
Now, forty-five years later, I can count all the times I came in front of a path that was not easy to discern, never black and white, good or bad.
I gave up my Italian roots and became absorbed in becoming a good American wife, even cooking American meals. I had no idea that I would see my father only once before he died, that I lost all contacts with my cousins, aunts and uncles, even my two brothers, after my mother died, and land and holdings in Italy disappeared and were liquidated without my knowledge.
Had I wished to return, even to visit, would have been difficult. My husband and I spent years getting an education, then paying off student loans, purchasing a house, sending our children to school. Our vacations were camping trips, simple two-three days close enough, and inexpensive enough to be affordable.
When we retired and we visited Italy, I could barely recognize any thing or anybody I knew. I had changed; they had changed. We were all strangers now, with little in common.
We think we know what we are doing.
Life is way too complex to predict.
We take big leaps of faith every day, with many decisions.