I been unable to post on My Bella Sicily for a while due to my caregiving duties for my 87 year old mother who struggled from a stroke and subsequently died October 9th. I have been blessed to have my mother and father live into their late 80’s. My dad turns 89 this September. Grief comes in waves and degrees. I miss my mother dearly, but take solace that she no longer suffers and is dancing on the streets of gold. My mother died nine days before my birthday, then came Thanksgiving and Christmas. I won’t lie, it was difficult. Some days are better than others, but I made it though the toughest “firsts” right out of the gate. I cannot help but think October will never be the same for me and my family. Fortunately, I have many wonderful October memories to draw strength from, such as reuniting with my Sicilian family after 100 years.
My first visit to Sicily was October 8, 2014 with seven of my cousins. Our grandmothers were sisters and they had lost contact with their Sicilian family in 1915 after the death of their father. We were fulfilling their dream (and ours) to connect with our Sicilian roots. As we approached the Palermo airport, I was in awe at the deep emerald blue sea, it was breathtakingly beautiful. I could see for what seemed like a hundred miles. The Madonie Mountain range clearly in view. I was fired-up to put my feet on the ground, but wanted to remember this moment in time for the rest of my life; I felt the love of my grandmother and great grandparents with me on this journey.
My first visit to Sicily was absolutely life-changing on so many levels. I’ve written about the beautiful family reunion with our Sicilian cousins in a previous blog post. When the anniversary of my mother’s death comes this October, I am so thankful I can recall many happier moments of her, and also think of Sicily.
A visit to Sicily will capture your heart forever. Create your moment in time with a visit to Sicily. There are so many wonderful sights to see, delicious cuisine to enjoy, history to absorb, and amazing things to do. Travel is more affordable than ever and you may even connect with your family. Check out my friends, Alfred Zappala and Eszter Vajda, at You, Me & Sicily to learn about their small custom tour options in 2018.