Midgeeee, Midgeee, Zia Vittorias voice echoed up the stairs to my second floor office. I raced to the top of the stairs and yelled, “Sono a secondo piano.” I kept running and found her in my kitchen fiercely holding a mop handle raised in the air. The stick she was going to use to scare off the crooks who were in my house. I started to cry. My Aunt Catherine’s thinly little face puckered in her fierce warrior woman look flashed before me. She too, at eighty something came racing to protect me. How do you thank women like this? You channel their strength and let it seep into your being. Strength you can use to protect the youngest in your clan.
Oops, sorry, I bet you want to know what the hell happened. Homes in our little village have been broken into. I blame jobless kids with nothing to do but spy on people , learn schedules and pop in when no one is home. Last summer it was wretched to hear that one house even got broken into – well the door was open – while the folks were upstairs. Today, we parked the car on the side of the house in the shade. Jack drifted off somewhere outside and I went upstairs to my office. My clunky feet make a lot of noise going up the stairs. Zia Vittoria heard my noises but didn’t see our car. First she went outside and yelled for Jack. No answer. Nicola wasn’t home to fight off the bad people so she took her mop and came into our side of the duplex to investigate. Our front door was unlocked. There was no car. Jack did not respond. She made enough noises for an army of Italian nonne and kept calling for me. That is when I entered the scene. Her mission – scare off the crooks!! God bless her moxie.
The day after my mother’s funeral her long time creepy boyfriend- the evil, obnoxious, heinous Doug- went to XXXXXX’s Auction, got a truck and was preparing to empty my mothers house. (Fearing litigation, Jack made me take the name of the local company out.) I was the executor for the estate and hadn’t even gone to probate with my moms will or inventoried her assets. He had really jumped the greedy blood sucking gun. I had spent the night next door to my mom’s house at Aunt Catherine’s. Being back on the family compound just felt right. I was outside hanging clothes on the line when I noticed a large white panel truck – the auction house truck. Without thinking I bellowed at Aunt Cat and raced up the path through the field. The house was locked – the smarmy creep may have been inside. I banged and bellowed. Then I called XXXXXX’s Auction and explained that any items brought to the auction were stolen from my mom’s estate and I intended to press charges. While the owner was sputtering I hear the buzz of my Aunt Cat’s electric scooter jostling up the path. With her bastione held high in her good arm and her phone clutched in her bad hand steering the scooter she was determined to protect me, the memory of my mother and help me fend off any bad guys. I hung up on XXXXX and raced to hug her. Then we both went back down the path cursing evil men in general and Ugly Dougly in particular.
In both cases, not for one moment, did the elders in my life consider themselves. With the inner strength of women the world over and Italian women in particular, they felt action had to be taken and they were prepared to take it. A lesson we all could learn from.