This is the final installment of Ischia – Italy’s Islanders
Chapter Thirty-Three – The End Means a New Beginning
As many of you know, for the past four months, I’ve been debating what to do about this fictional story of real events that unfolded in my life. I was unable to post a new blog every Monday because I thankfully had to tend to three new jobs, in addition to the ones I already had – two book deals and my baby boy. So much has changed in the last year and a half, but especially in the last few months. For starters, I am working on two books – one as a consulting editor and one as THE author (more to come about the books in future blogs) and I became a mom to a healthy, gorgeous baby boy (see photo above). These jobs – the most important of which is being baby boy’s mommy – have taken up most of my time. As a result, this blog took a backseat to everything else. But I don’t want to leave you hanging. So, this will be the final chapter, and I’ll wrap everything up. Here goes:
When I last left you, Tony and I were just beginning our long-distance love story and we were struggling with jealousy issues and fears of infidelity. These issues would continue through our relationship. But, as we got to know each other better and our love grew, the long distance got easier. We got engaged in 2007 and married in 2008. We had two beautiful celebrations in Italy and the United States, and we were surrounded by those who we loved most. The memory of that love would carry us through some hard times.
In 2010, I got pregnant and miscarried. It was devastating, and I still haven’t quite recovered. I thank God that my parents and siblings and Tony’s mom and siblings were there for us, as were countless cousins and aunts and uncles. I had a slew of health problems, and we weren’t sure if I was going to be able to have a baby – at least not for a long while. Since I was already in my thirties, I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen at all. We stopped trying. We decided to have fun and forget about the people who thought Tony and I shouldn’t be together (there was and is lots of that, too) and any jealousy we had, to put the tragedy of losing our baby behind us. And a miracle happened. I became pregnant in 2011.
I was in the middle of my darkest hour, feeling alone and sad, but somehow the new year ushered in all this wonderful. In September, our bundle of joy was born happy and healthy, and he continues to be more than Tony and I could have ever hoped. Our marriage was strong despite the naysayers – and now we are a family. Even I have moments where I am not sure if we’ll make it. But we did and we have so far. And I made it through labor and delivery beautifully. It was much easier than I imagined, thanks to the epidural, and the help of baby boy who wanted out two weeks early. My health is pretty much completely restored. Although I miss the angel baby I lost and think about him everyday, I know he paved the way for the miracle. When I talk to the souls above, I thank our lost baby all the time for the son I get to hold in my arms everyday.
Both my babies were inspiration to write this blog. I started writing it as a means of telling my side of a crazy love story that was intertwined with family, friends, and their crazy stories. When I first imagined such a book years ago, I thought you would see the eccentricities of the people I love most through my exaggerated versions of them. But I never imagined what was going to happen next.
You see, one person told a big lie. That lie exploded like a bomb and injured all those around it. This lie nearly killed me. I won’t go into any further detail about the lie to protect both the innocent and the guilty except to say that I learned some valuable lessons. Our actions truly have repercussions, and the truth – no matter what it is – is almost always better than a lie. We must think long and hard about what we do because we have the potential to hurt other people. But my holiday present to myself was to let go, pray for only good things for the people with whom I’ve lost touch, hang tight to the good memories we shared over the years, and start new chapters with my son and Tony and the others with whom I share an unbreakable bond of trust and who I know will never leave me. I had to give up on the anger, disappointment, and sadness – or else the lie would really kill me. The only person I was hurting was myself.
As you might have imagined, Roberto and Lisa broke up, and they both hurt each other badly. It ripped apart our whole group. As a result, they don’t talk to each other or any of us. We’ve lost touch even with Roberto’s family, my cousins. I’d like to believe they are both doing great things somewhere other than Ischia, a small island where everyone judges, everyone knows everyone’s business, and opportunities are limited to say the least. But I simply don’t know what’s happening in their lives. Still, I will never forget the good times we shared or the role they played in our wedding and vow renewal, back when I thought our family ties and friendship would last a lifetime.
Although there’s a certain sadness when you part ways with friends and family, there’s also a happy ending for Tony and me. We’re still together after all these years, and now we’re raising our son. There are lots of exciting memories in the making, firsts for our boy, and a dream of an even happier tomorrow. Despite all the tests that are consistently thrown our way, we’re still in love to boot. For a while, I was bitter and regretted these other relationships and the moment I ever stepped foot on that God forsaken island. Ischia, once my paradise, has become, perhaps, my least favorite place on the planet. Now, however, I realize that without Ischia or those relationships, I would never have found my way to Tony or baby boy. As a result, I will forever be grateful to all those relatives and friends who have cut ties with me for they brought me to my greatest gifts. Grazie a loro, tutti voi, e anche Ischia! Felice anno nuovo, felice vita per tutti! [Thanks to them, all of you, and even Ischia! Happy new year, happy life for all!]
Some names and identifying characteristics of the real people involved have been changed.