10.27.2010

Trip Update

I went to visit my mom and grandmother in Italy with my dad last week. My mom was visiting my grandmother, when the week of October 2, my grandmother fell and broke her left shoulder.

My dad was kind enough to spring for a trip for me to go along with him on his next Italian business trip to Milan. We left O'hare a little over an hour after our initial liftoff time, almost didn't make our connection at Newark, and embarked on to Milan, where we would drive an hour and a half to Genoa to grandma's place.

It was quite a trip. Although I used vacation time, it feels very little like a vacation. I did get a chance to sit on the balcony and walk around Pegli, the area where we are from/live within Genoa, but it was not much fun at all.

We did get to buy a new mini fridge for grandma after the yogurt I was removing one morning edged against the wrong thing and made the 35 to 37 year old fridge stop for good. The new one is quite nice. We arranged with the delivery guys to have them remove the old fridge and, since they were there and happy to take money, we had them remove two old television sets and a floor-shining machine thingy.

I was able to buy an LG Velvet smartphone on Tuesday at the TIM store in Sestri, a town which recently had been victim of a major flood due to severe rains and river outflow. The smartphone wasn't that smart, but it helped me get hits of my social media addiction.

My father was able to come Thursday and spend time with me and my mother for the remainder of the weekend. He had a rental car so we were able to go see our favorite spots: Tucano 2 on the oceanfront in Pegli, Parodi restaurant in Arenzano, Da o Strixeu on top of a mountain at the Signora della Guardia church in Ceranesi, and Vitturin in Recco.

Yes lots of food! But our mental states are a little troubled if not outright distressed at having to make emergency arrangements to assure grandmother is taken care of. At 90, she really has no business living on her own anymore. I just wish my parents and she had had the foresight to make necessary arrangements and "plan Bs" sooner rather than now when she's 90, has moderate macular degeneration and can't see, and broke her left shoulder. I'm certainly still processing the emotional outbursts, my mom's own perilous state of health after her open-heart surgery earlier this year, grandma's advanced old age and mild senility, my having traveled to a place still plagued by confusing and somewhat negative memories, and the jet lag.

It sucks that we weren't able to go see our house in the mountains. I always make a point of getting my parents to take me there when I'm in Italy.

Genova's (Pegli in particular) home and I love it, no matter how many times I go, or how little I go. Or how much time passes between visits. Or how much I get caught up in the rat race in Illinois.

Time will tell what we can accomplish to make grandma feel comfortable and allow us to enjoy her presence at least a little while longer.