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Therapist: Tell me more about this priest…Padre Antonio was a father figure to you and you needed someone…

Me: He was indeed a father figure and the best role-model i could ever find.

T.: He was the one keeping you on the right track when you were ready to drop school…

Me: In my deepest despair he showed me how God blessed me with so many beautiful gifts: health, intelligence, a family…even if that family abandoned me…I remember that episode when we brought food to the gypsy’s camp…

“She looked around…it was late November and she wondered how could a baby survive in a house made of paper with no proper food or water and dirt all over…

The baby was a beautiful girl with black curled hair, sparkling black eyes and milk all over her face. The baby’s brother was 3 years old, running bare foot around the so-called table, in order to save the roll he was eating…from the older sister…a teenager, around 13 with a baby of her own in her arms. Their parents were outside with Padre Antonio who was trying really hard to convince them to stop drinking…

Suddenly the baby girl started to cry and she felt instinctively the need to take her in her arms. When she approached to the bed she saw the baby trembling and she noticed the wet bed under the child. She took the baby in her arms, ignoring the smell…

-Put her down, Miss Cari, she’s dirty…you’re spoiling her and she’s gonna yell the whole night!

She ignored the harsh voice coming from the child’s mother and she went outside holding the baby.

-Padre Antonio, we need another set of blankets and a packet of Pampers…and i think she should be seen by a doctor, her forehead is burning…

-Let me see, Carissa…give me the child…slowly, she just calmed down in your arms. You’re right, she’s burning with fever! It could be scarlatina, there were recently 5 more cases in this camp…and…indeed…look, the boy has the rash. We need to take them to the hospital!

-Ooooooo…nooooo! You’re not taking the children away! You think that if you brought food…we give the children?

The mother took brutally the baby from Padre Antonio’s arms. The little girl started to cry out loud…

She knew she need to say something. She approached slowly to the baby’s mother.

-Please, listen to me…the disease is very dangerous for such a young child…and is also highly contagious…why don’t you let us take the kids to the hospital…they’ll have food and a warm bed tonight…

-Because they’re our children, not yours! They’re not sick and you won’t take them away!

-Look…take this money…is all i have…take them in the Name of our Lord! Buy food and medicine with them…and come with us to the hospital, please…don’t let your children die like this…

-Grazie…thank you, Miss Cari! I can tell you’re a good person and i take your money. But you bring the children back!

-I promise!

Padre Antonio was quiet all the way to the hospital and she was afraid he’s upset.

-Padre Antonio…

-Yes, Carissa…

-I know it was wrong to give them money. I’m sorry…i just wanted to save the children. You were right all the time…my mission is to help others, this will be the source of my happiness…if i got carried away i’m sorry, but my intentions were right…

Padre Antonio smiled for the first time.

-I’m not upset, Carissa, in fact, i’m very proud of you. From that rebel teenager who was planning to run away and destroy her life, you became a generous young lady, willing to sacrifice herself for the others. And this happened in less than 2 months…i think God truly works trough children…

She had tears of joy in her eyes.

-Padre Antonio, when you first showed me how many people are in need of food, water, a shelter…i realize how selfish i was…in my sadness i almost give away everything…and there’s so much good that needs to be done in this world…I’m sorry i can’t do more…without the support of my family…

-One day, Carissa…when your dream to become a doctor will finally come true…you’ll know that every single obstacle, every single pain and all the sorrow, loneliness, grief…everything was in your life for a reason…Look at this precious baby sleeping in your arms…she knows she’s safe with you, she feels loved and nurtured and she trust you with her life…Carissa, we’re all like this baby…in the arms of God…we only need to learn to trust and to let Him decide…”

Therapist: Did you ever felt this way? Completely trusting God and His decisions?

Me: Sometimes…but most of the times i was just trying desperately to have the control over my own life. Like i’m doing now. My mistake was to keep searching for a role model in every man i loved…

T.: Is hard for you to realize that Ryan is not a role model…he’s just a man with a lot of faults. But…if you need a role-model…here (he gave me a mirror)…what do you see?

Me: Well…i kinda need a refresh for my make up…

T.(laughing): Cari…look better…there, in the mirror is your role-model! When you’re gonna stop searching for heroes, you’ll find the hero deep inside your precious soul…

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