Sunday, July 28, 2013
Sundays are my rest days. I call them "Selfish" Sundays for a reason. It's the one day of the week, where I do what I WANT to do and not because I need or have to do it. This includes sleeping in late, lounging around on the couch, watching some flicks on iTunes, reading a book in the hammock, taking the dogs for a drive around town or shopping for some new nail polish. I don't do all of these things every Sunday, but I sure do enjoy relaxing and not worry about the hectic day-to-day tasks of life.
When my husband and I first arrived in Italy, we were shocked that everything is closed on Sundays. The only thing we found open was the hospital and a couple bakeries. Coming from the United States where everything is pretty much open 24/7, it took some getting used to. However, after living here three years, we are noticing that Italy is becoming more and more Westernized in their belief that Sundays are the new Saturday and EVERYTHING is open now. While the store hours may not be all day, rest assured you can go shopping for just about anything you desire now on Sundays. The only except is that you cannot buy gasoline on Sundays (strange, I know). While some might be in favor of things being open on Sunday, I kind of liked that Italy was traditional and allowed families to be together on Sundays.
Sundays always remind me of my grandmother. She was a devout Christian and rarely missed a Sunday session of church and Bible study. I would often join her at church, not because I wanted learn about the Bible necessarily, but because I got to play the piano in front of the congregation (yes, God strike me down now). My grandmother encouraged my piano playing and paid for my lessons. She also encouraged my food addiction, but that's another story for another blog. I loved her and she loved me.
This Sunday is a very special one for me. Seventeen years ago today, my grandmother passed away on a Sunday much like today. It was hot, muggy and the sun was shining. I remember it like it happened yesterday. Growing up, I was raised in a single-parent household during a time when that was all too common. My mother worked various jobs until I was 2-years old and then she went to nursing school. It was during this time that my grandmother decided to let me stay with her because my mother needed the help. I lived with her off and on until I was about 12. My grandmother owned a restaurant until I was about 5 years old. I started learning to cook before I knew my A-B-Cs. I taught my sister, Autumn, who is 9 years older than me, how to make scrambled eggs when I was 3-years old. When I was 16, my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had never smoked a day in her life. A year later, she succumbed to the ugly disease and I felt like my world collapsed underneath me. Our bond was much stronger than the bond I had with anyone else in my family, including my mother. She understood me and I understood her. I have not had a connection to another person like her since then. The closest connection would probably be my two best friends.
Years ago, I came across a quote by Anais Nin that reads, "Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." So, my "Sparkled" friends, with the start of a new week, I ask that you go out and help someone create a "new world," one where they can achieve something great within themselves. Sometimes all it takes is a little comfort and a big push!
Happy "Selfish" Sunday my sparky friends!