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Dave: Why Ryan? From all the people, from all the guys, why do you have to pick the most…

Me: The most interesting, the most handsome, the most adorable guy in the whole world!

Dave: Yeah, right! Cari, you know very well what I’m talking about! What were you really searching for?

Me: A family…

“She kept the silence for a brief moment, enjoying the effect of her words on the audience. Being the voice of her generation…that’s what Padre Antonio told her to try…and as overwhelming as it was, she adored every second of it.

…and that’s why we can consider ourselves blessed! Beyond any doubt we’re carrying deep inside our souls…beyond the conflicts and the struggles we went trough…beyond my well known attempts to escape (laughs in the public) we learned the essence of love. The essence of faith. I wanna share this with the world and I know that you, my dearest friends, will do the same. Share the precious feeling, the warm protecting love of a family. That’s what we are: a family in God, in faith and in hope! (applause)

And I will share my secret with you…yes, the secret that made me survive during four years in a catholic boarding school… (laughs) The love of a family, just like the love of God are always there! Light is always with us…even during night time, even if we close our eyes…even when we refuse to see it…Light and Love are always shining upon us! And that’s how I know that…this is not goodbye. This is my way of saying thank you all for being my family and my home. And…even if I thought I’d never say this…I’ll miss this school, this boarding school and…yes…the rice pudding. (laughs) Thank you, Sister Maria for secretly adding some chocolate flakes in it! (laughs) Thank you, dearest friends and respected professors for adding the love of a family in my life! (applause)

She took the diploma and, in the sound of their applause, hugged Sister Maria and Padre Antonio. Her eyes filled with tears seeing them so proud of her.

-I told you, Padre Antonio…she’s a natural talent! I’m not saying that because I love her, even if I do…I say this because she could easily be a motivational speaker! I can’t believe you’re graduating, Cari! Oh, how I’ll miss you, child!

She hugged Sister Maria once again feeling suddenly so sad…the other students were with their parents and now she was leaving her only home, her safe place…

-Carissa…can we talk for a moment?

-Mom!!!! You’re here! I thought…oh, I’m so happy to see you!

Sister Maria and Padre Antonio left to give them the privacy they need. She felt the need to hug her mother but the distance in her eyes kept her from doing it.

-I…I truly liked what you have said, Carissa. It was a lovely speech…It made me realize that we did the right thing when we chose this school for you.

She wanted to say “no…I spend years trying to cope with your decision, years trying to find a home, people who can love me, feeling like an orphan all the time! And that’s only because you didn’t wanted me!” but she looked away, biting her tongue, trying not to alienate her mother.

-Yes, mother…

-Anyway…I don’t know how to say this to you…so I’ll say it directly. I’m going home. Back in the US. My mother is very ill, she needs me so…I’m going there.

-Grandmother is ill? I wanna go with you, please mom…if she’s ill…maybe if she’ll meet me…maybe she’ll get better…and I’ll have the chance to know my family from there…

-That’s a nonsense!

The tone in her mother’s voice was so cold, she almost burst into tears. She looked down, visibly hurt. Her mother continued very calm.

-Carissa…she’s dying. She probably wont recognize me…last time she saw me was 20 years ago…But she’s my family…

-I understand…when will you be back…

-I wont be back. I’m starting a new life there. I know you understand, after all I think I have the right to live my life the way I feel is the best for me. And I’m still young…I wanna feel alive again…find someone maybe, start a new family…I’m 45…many woman my age can still have children…

The last sentence…having children…hit her like a hammer and she started to cry. People started to star at them and her mother felt embarrassed. She tried to talk in a softer manner.

-Carissa…Cari…come on, honey…you’re not a little girl anymore. You’ll have your own family one day…wont be needing me. But I do need a new chance…a new life…

-What about me? Am I not your family? Am I not your child? Don’t I deserve a place in your new life? No…don’t touch me! You don’t love me!

-Yes, I do…but…

-No! You don’t! When you love someone, you don’t say “but” and you don’t talk about leaving!

-Carissa, cut the drama, please. You’re old enough to have a child of your own but you’re clinging to me like you were five years old! You need to learn how to let go, honey…this life isn’t all love and family and hugs…and you’ll get hurt if you continue like this…

She lifted her eyes up. Wiping away her tears. Looking straight into her mother’s blue eyes. Regaining her dignity.

-Don’t worry, mother. I’m letting you go. You can leave and have your new life, your new chance. Your new family. But here’s a piece of advice from me…don’t ever tell your new husband or your new children about the hurt you left behind. They may not give you a new chance! Now go…stop clinging to me like you would need my approval. You wont have it anymore. Nor my forgiveness, nor my love. Goodbye.

Her mother said something, but she wasn’t hearing her anymore. When she saw her leaving, all she could hear was her own grief, her own inner cry for help…and for love.”

Dave: Still…you forgave her. You gave her a new chance.

Me: I forgave her just in time to help her heal…when she overcame her depression, she left again. Only that…this time it wasn’t that painful. This time, having a family of my own, loving them with all my heart and soul…was my way of coping with her decision. Or maybe I just became stronger…

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