It started on a NATO military installation with you wanting to learn English and me Italian. An unlikely pair – you serving your 10-month obligation in the Italian military while I was the career soldier. Did anyone know that brief encounter would last nearly 40 years or we would refer to the other as “my brother”.
Home for both of us was here or there for we are one family. I have always enjoyed returning to this vineyard in Italy. Not for the food or the wine, it is a place of peace, tranquility and friendship for the past 40 years.
You are the younger, inexperienced man, with no exposure to the ravages of war or its cancers yet it is you, my younger brother, who’s health is failing. I am the one who had cancer, not you. You are too young to have lost your eyesight, no longer able to lovingly tend your vineyards, olive trees and orchards. I have no such responsibilities yet I can see and without hesitation would give you my eyes.
This trip comes too soon. I am not ready and I don’t want to go. Even though they didn’t ask the phone call said it all.
There will not be another “a piu tardi grande amico mio”.
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