Sunday Story: Where is Home?
We had lived in America a few years now. At times it felt like my whole life and other times like a long vacation. My tongue finally grasped the ways of sounding like an “American”. Growing up speaking Italian and French I acquired a good ear to mimic sounds. I finally found the way to make the sweet cotton candy melody of the American accent sound natural. If I didn’t tell anyone they’d almost never guess English was my third language, unless I was with my mamma.
Her thick Italian accent rolled off her tongue like Parmigiano Reggiano trying to act like Kraft Parmesan. Everywhere we went they asked how long she lived here and what brought her to Utah. At the time I felt embarrassed and angry. Why didn’t we blend in like the rest? I wanted our names to be Stacy, Kelly, or Jenny. Something hip and cool- “normal”. I wanted people to ask about our Christmas plans instead of where Sardegna (Sardinia) is and how long it takes to get there.
Late one cold and winter evening I found my mamma standing near her bedroom window looking at the stars with tears in her eyes. Rarely did I see her cry. I asked her what was wrong. She smiled and whispered in Italian, I’m thinking of “home”. I felt confused thinking- we were home? She pulled me close to her with all her strength. I wasn’t sure if she was comforting me or using my small body as a blanket to comfort to her.
We stood there in silence starring at the stars and glistening snow on the ground. I wondered if it was wrong to think of this as home. Why didn’t she think of this as home? How long do you have to live somewhere to call it “home”? Maybe home isn’t a place. It’s the people IN that place. I think she was missing our famiglia (family) that night. A place you can’t run to when it’s so far away...a person you can’t hug when they are that far away...That’s why she held me extra tight. She was holding everyone she missed.
This holiday season is different than any we’ve ever experienced. Where is a place or people you are missing that you call home? Write in the comments below...