Sunday, 5 May 2019

Making Easter

I find the time preceding Easter Sunday an uneasy time. It might be Lent with its fasting and holding back, or the holy week recalling the Passion of Jesus that resounds of deceit and misunderstandings, though it ends with a sense of rebirth. After my holiday in Japan at the beginning of April, I felt full of hope influenced by its tolerant religious culture and boosted by all the wishes and offerings I had made at Shinto and Buddhist temples. In Rome I had a bit of hard time with my mother. She will be eighty-nine in May and is becoming more and more forgetful. This affects her everyday life as she forgets appointments, where she stores or puts things and how she spends her money. It annoys her, of course, and has consequences on her mood. 

According to the Italian law, kin need to provide care directly or paying for a carer. At the same time, you cannot force the elderly person to accept a carer or any other arrangement if they do not agree. I spoke with my mother’s GP who suggested her to move to one of her daughters’ house or live in a separate apartment near them. But she doesn’t accept the idea of leaving her home and we cannot force her. In the meantime, she had also some disagreements with the lady who was helping her in her chores and shopping since last September and decided to dismiss her. My sister and I had to find another carer in a hurry as the doctor said she couldn’t be alone after my departure for England. In Italy most of the carers employed for elderly and disabled people come from Eastern Europe and the Philippines. Luckily we found a lady from Moldova who can stay with my mum night and day for the next three months. I also took her to some hospital appointments and she was assessed by a geriatric doctor.  

Becoming aware of being less independent can make my mother bad-tempered, sometimes angry and this affects our relationship. Luckily my sister, who lives near Rome, is helping. Nevertheless, my mum and I managed to spend some good time together seeing friends and relatives, visiting exhibitions and baking cakes and biscuits. We celebrated Palm Sunday at Villa Malta, meditating on the Passion according to St. Luke. It was intriguing and interesting to rediscover in the ancient text, the oldest of the Gospel and the core of it, the almost cruel and apparently illogic way God chose to save his people. Pain and treason seem to overcome rationality in the torture and death of the innocent Jesus. If we believe in resurrection, the broken bread is finally transformed in life again, defeat becomes victory and the sacrifice saves mankind conquering death. However, I feel that the ruthlessness of the sacrifice, which is cruelly and bloodily perpetrated, lingers like a dark impenetrable shadow on the whole story.

My mum and I visited two exhibitions, Il Mito Rivisitato: le maschere arcaiche della Basilicata (the revisited myth: archaic masks of Balilicata) at Casina delle Civette in Villa Torlonia, and Donne, Corpo e Immagine, tra Simbolo e Rivoluzione (women, body and image, between symbol and revolution) at the Gallery of Modern Art of the Municipality of Rome. They were two riveting exhibitions I reviewed for London Grip, you can find them here:

Easter Sunday was a great family gathering. We had delicious food cooked by my mother in law: her special ravioli, then lamb, artichokes and fine beans. For dessert we had pastiera and strawberries. At night we flew back to England looking forward to starting our routines again. 

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