Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Little Scare

Jeremy and I had to make a little trip to the ER this morning.

He woke me up about 4am last night complaining about a migraine. He has migraines from time to time, so I didn't really think much of it at first. However, I noticed he was shaking, nauseous, moaning from the pain, and ready to throw himself out the window. He complained that he felt worse than he had ever felt in his life. We waited a little while longer to see if his symptoms would recede - and when they didn't, we decided to head to the ER.

I have heard too many stories about people with aneurysms, busted blood vessels, and brain tumors to ignore the symptoms. I told myself it was probably a bad migraine, but I felt that I needed to err on the side of caution.

After several hours, an IV full of drugs, a couple of bouts of vomiting, blood tests, and a CT scan, Jeremy is fine. He just had the worst migraine of his life.

While watching him sleep in that tiny hospital room, I remembered and how nothing is guaranteed to us in this life. I held Jeremy's hand for a moment, and my wedding band hit his. I looked down at both of our hands and thought about how much I love him, and how I vowed to be committed to him no matter what. I don't know what I would do or where I would be without my patient, loving husband.

Thankful and blessed. I am thankful and blessed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I Miss Italia

Last night, Jeremy and I were watching the Travel Channel. For some reason, we were watching a show about the most unusual McDonald's in the world. The most unusual McDonald's was one we have actually seen - it is made of marble and is at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Of course, they showed one of this McDonald's most extraordinary features - its gelato.

Gelato is Italian ice cream, more often referred to as Italian Heaven. It doesn't have as much fat or air, so you don't eat as much or feel as guilty eating it, but the taste and texture creates an ultra-decadent smoothness. It feels like cold, unwavering silk going down your throat.

The mere sight of gelato on television brought us both back to this wonderful place in Florence (Firenze for the Italians) called Gelateria Neri, which was close to our hotel. There, they had almost every form of gelato available. I got Fragola (Strawberry, about the only Italian word I still remember), and Jeremy got "Cookies." Actually, that was the first thing he said when he looked at the gelato on the television - "Oh, cookies! Man."
We immediately picked up my laptop and started searching for spots that might have gelato near Atlanta. We realized it wouldn't be the same, and that the American gelato wouldn't really sate us, but we thought it might be a fun venture.
This morning, I found some of our pictures from the Italian vacation, and it brings back happy memories. I remember getting lost in Venice (don't stay there too long if you can help it), thinking I could live forever in Florence, and watching the most perfect sunset I have ever seen at the coliseum in Rome. I think about that night, tinged with pinkish-purple perfection, and wish I could relive it.

There are many things I miss about Italy. I miss the simplicity of the Italians - their worlds focus on dolce vita - the good life. They like to eat, drink and siesta. Many of them talk like I do, with focused, animated gestures and big stories. They are friendly to Americans, and most of them even speak English. They are passionate about their food - and the result is astounding. I would be happy eating prosciutto, good pizza, panino, gelato, tiramisu, ribolita and pasta for the rest of my life. I even pick up Under the Tuscan Sun every once in awhile to remind me of how blessed I was to go to this country.

And while I do miss the cobblestone streets, the fabulous art, the architecture, the way of life, the food and the people, I'm still a Georgia Girl at heart. I know that if I lived in Italy, I would miss the Southern life. I would miss biscuits, sweet tea, rolling hills of red clay, the accents, the serenity of the mountains, the beauty of the seasons and the friendliness of the people here. Most of all, I would miss my family and friends, who truly make a home a place to live.

(one of my favorite pictures of us - we were so tan!)

Even though I know I will never live in Italy, I hope that I might return one day. I want to go back to the fast-paced, friendly world of Rome. I want to go back to the beauty of the Alps. I want to go back to Gelataria Neri. I want to go back and see the indescribable wonder of Botticelli's Venus. And most of all, I want to soak that country in like a sponge and experience (once again) how heavenly life can be.