03 July 2011

Half a World Away

As I write, my uncle and aunt are in an aeroplane, en route to visiting family in Sicily. When I first heard they were heading over for a holiday at fairly short notice, my first reaction was "lucky buggers, take me with you"! I started fondly remembering my spontaneous trip over there with my mum and MissyMoo1 when she was just 20 months old, for Cugina C's wedding. Even though it was a whirlwind trip of only 6 days, it was fantastic, the memories are vivid and the relationships with those family members remain close.

I began wishing that the world was a little smaller, that we weren't so far away and that it didn't cost so much money to go there. But then, I realised how much easier it is these days to keep in touch with people all over the world compared with when my mother, her parents, brothers and sister came to Australia from Sicily in the late 1960s.

My mum, at age 18, left the only life, family and language she knew to start again on the other side of the world. They battled loneliness, communication difficulties and racism to carve a life for themselves here in Australia. Telephone calls were too expensive to make often, so they kept in touch with family members back home by good old-fashioned letter-writing. They spoke about their family often and kept close ties to others from the same home-town who had also made the mammoth move, creating their own family away from family.

Thanks to their efforts, I have a relationship with cousins, aunts and uncles on the other side of the world whom I have only seen a handful of times. Email, Facebook and cheap telephone calls make communication easy (well, as easy as can be in my sometimes awkward Italian but I do my best!). And I can always daydream about going back there to visit one day with hubby and all the MissyMoos when they're older and easier to travel with. I know there will always be somewhere for us to stay and open arms to welcome us. All I really need to do now is win lotto to cover the travel costs (I'm working on it - but it's slightly out of my control!).

5 comments:

  1. Great writing Francesca ... maybe Zio and I will win toto lotto and shout the whole family one day xxx

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  2. Thanks, that would be fantastic! We can dream!

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  3. Technology is a wonderful thing it makes the world seem so much smaller.

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  4. You are lucky to know and keep in touch with your family over there, I hardly know my aunts or cousins in Spain. My dad speaks with them though. I've never been over there, but would love to, and yes, when I win the lotto!

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  5. I love how technology is making life easier for communicating across the globe!! I have been using a weekly pregnancy app on facebook and its great it means all my relatives know whats going on without me having to do long winded updates!! I also love skype although deliberately do not have my computer set up for it as it would be way too time consuming!! I love being able to upload pics to facebook of the kids in real time!!

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