Panta Rei

5 mins read

When I look back at my past, trying to tell my story and who I am, I think about a long line of thousands of dots connecting. I am the sum of millions of moments of a 50-years long story. I am the addition of my mistakes and of all the good things I did.

For many years until now, I always asked myself if I would have learned the truth. Yes, that is the answer. I wanted to hear the truth from the lips of those whom I believed were my parents. And in the end, they really were.

Alberto at home, two months old.

When I was six years old, I looked at them from below. They were not taller than one meter sixty (5 feet 2), but to me, they looked like giants. My father was often wearing a dark blue elegant suit. He was a doctor; he was very serious, taciturn, silent, reserved, and introverted.
My mother was a classy woman, intelligent, and sharply cultured—a foreigner that immigrated to Italy. This country (Italy) probably never understood her completely.

To me, they were shining stars and barons of an ancient past.
I grew up in that household that resembled a tiny archipelago without asking myself or them questions about the past. That small private planet was, for me, a never-ending world that couldn’t ever change.
When I was 25 years, they both fell ill. I shared my days and nights between house and hospitals, with the ridiculous presumption that my youth could win anything.
The truth knocked at my door after 5 long years. In two weeks, they both died. I was alone.

Alberto, two years old in Rome, Villa Ada 1973

One day I found in my home some strange hidden documents.
At the very beginning, I did not realize what was happening… then I understood that those were the documents of my adoption.
Sitting on the bed, I kept my head between my hands. Sadness and darkness, my old friends, were near me.
I would have loved to listen to all the truth of my story from their lips, from their voices. I desperately wanted to know the details of this story that, at that point, I could only imagine.

In London, 1982.

I feel it is an absurd endless story, a circle that seems to be closed with their deaths, but in fairness, today, this circle is still open.
Today I still have so many questions. I try to answer them only with my research and my good sense.
For so many years, I blamed my parents.
Then I needed, I had to, restart my life.
Today I’m fifty years old; I can understand their choice, maybe only because I’m a father as well. And I’m grateful.

I’m grateful for the intact gift they gave: love, education, strength, faith.
And I’m grateful for all that I received afterward, a family, two children.
I’m grateful for my lucky destiny, to be adopted from somebody who loved me and gave me a happy life.
According to Shakespeare… If you answer to the lucky gift received in life with hate, this is an invitation to the darkness.
I have understood only after many years the most important message of my story. And it is included in only one word: EMPATHY.
Every human behavior hides explanation. Understanding empathy helps a lot.

Alberto with his family, today.

If we try to see any situation from another point of view, we can overcome our main challenges.
If we succeed in this, we can evolve and develop as human beings.
And if we can evolve, we run like a river.
Because everything runs.

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