I was wearing that red cardigan, the one Auntie made and I hated. Funny how you remember the small details . We were doing it again, walking together slowly to the church, trying to be dignified in our grief. I didn’t really understand why once a year we had to go to this special mass, when the adults’ eyes brimmed with tears and our priest spoke in a voice more sombre than usual.
I could feel the town’s folk watching us and heard some murmering but never caught their words.
My father hadn’t come home from the war.His body hadn’t been found and his fellow soldiers could only offer vague accounts of what happened, so we held a mass for his soul every year on his birthday.
My uncle lead with my mother and grandmother and the rest of the family followed behind them.
Reliving our grief had become a habit.
After my mother died, when I was studying to become a teacher, I received a envelope with a foreign postmark. The letter informed me my father had died recently and in that distant country. A young man wrote to me that he was my brother and would like to meet me.
Now I really grieved for the father I had hardly known.
Silvia Mercoli is an actress and theatre director with her own company Latte Nero in the Milan area. She has been a professional photographer and artist. Catharine Amato has added words to one of Silvia’s paintings. This is her previous contribution to aamora.
Catharine Amato is a founder member of aamora. These are her other contributions to aamora.