I have known many women who life as a worker, a wife, a mother, and a sister. Being one myself, I know how hard it is to live this kind of life and to fulfill the duty of each one.

It is not easy, I tell you. Imagine each day waking up, making sure everybody in the family has good meals, children growing up healthy and be good in school. That means a lot of works. But that is not the end. Beside the duty of nurturing physically, women also have to be emotionally protective to children and her husband as well. Then comes the duty of helping with family’s financial security. After that, if she has brother, or sister, or parent of her own, then the list will goes on and on…

Nevertheless, we, women have the most powerful tool from life…It’s Love!. From Love, it is like a fountain of  endless energy that gives us the strength, the power to endure and to fulfil these responsibilities. Ask Sissi, she will tell you what and how to be a mother like. Yet if you have a chance to know her two grown up sons who are decent and successful men, you will see for yourself the living proof of love and the pride and satisfaction of a mother.

I met Sissi (her real name is Adriana Marenzi, Ruggero’s only sister) first time in 2007 in Milan. She and Osvaldo (her husband) came to Stazione Centrale di Milano (the train station) to pick us up. As much as we wanted to, she and I could barely talk together due to our different languages. Of course Ruggero and she were too busy catching up with each other after years of living apart. I too, was busy observing Italy and all the peoples around so I just left them alone.  Before I met her. Ruggero always said that Sissi was not easy to talk to and that we had to be careful of what we say and our behaviors. But only after couple times meeting with her and Osvado and through our broken languages, I assured Ruggero that he was totally wrong.

I have a very good sense and keen observation of people and somehow, it always turns out to be true. I almost can tell right away if a person is happy or sad, difficult or easy, a person with a good heart or dangerous one…With Sissi, I could tell right away she is a woman with a big heart and a devoted wife, mother and a loving sister. Ruggero told me many memories of their growing up years and how they drifted apart. I listened to his stories and could understand why and how some people react in a certain way. “We are all human”, I said. Growing up inside a family of ten brothers and sisters, I myself had to go through many conflicts and struggles to learn how to accept my brothers and my sisters the way they are and  to love each other unconditionally. Well, true Love always conquers in the end. It is eternity.

Of the two time Ruggero and I were in Italy, it touched my heart to see the beauty of a brother and sister’s love. I love to watch how Sissi and Ruggero talked together whenever we were traveling with her or at her home in Milan. I took a lot of pictures of them and treasured these moments. Even though now we are ocean apart, but I know in our hearts, we are not far. I know they miss us very much, and we think of them constantly. They are one of the reasons that make me study Italian so hard. I am long for the day, I can just talk to them about every thing and to know them better.

But for today, I want her to know how much Ruggero and I love and miss her. “Buon Cumpleano Sissi!… Arrivederci a presto! ”