A few weeks ago, this paradise we call our home for now, turned into the picture of horror. Two rescue helicopters, several ambulances and many rescue workers scurried around the harbor, while we could only guess what had happened.
The news spread quickly: a young boy had disappeared.
The search operation continued until early morning, and resumed the next day. I didn’t realize it had gone on so late, till Karsten and I took a walk to the far side of beach where we love to go, where a little waterfall runs down into a river, and swans bathe below. It usually looks this serene, and I shot this photograph just the day before:
They hadn’t given up their search, and a little crowd of onlookers had gathered at the now cordoned-off bank. The silence was foreboding. It seemed like no one breathed, as men worked silently from a boat, still scanning the shore. I led Karsten away just as the worst sound ever—the mother’s final cry—pierced the silent, eerie air. And I knew then that the search was over.
I’ll never forget that sound…a parent’s grief; desperation; hope lost.
How do you live after sudden tragedy? How do you go on without your greatest love? It’s hard to imagine how people cope after disasters, tragedies, or immense loss.
The next week, a sense of sadness hung in the air, but my spirits were lifted a little when I continued to meet the people who had come to the lake to celebrate life—to continue journeying on.
I met a Dutch mother whose first child, a sweet blonde boy, had Down’s Syndrome. She had two more kids afterwards, and, “would love a fourth!” she exclaimed. As she tended to her little ones, with the strength that only a mother knows, she bore a certain aura of happiness, one that I am sure comes from living with that much love.
I met a pregnant woman, about to give birth for the third time. She and her other two children, had travelled from China, where they lived, to visit her parents here. She told me about growing up on Lake Como; about life as it once was; about good memories.
I met—and continue to meet—fascinating people in this place. They come and go, spending their holidays on the lake and never wanting to leave. But when they do, it reminds me too, that all good things must come to an end.
We are also nearing the end of our time here—one more month, and then it may be on to a new place, somewhere else to call home. Summer took forever to come, and now it is sailing by fast.
I haven’t blogged in quite a few weeks, because of some personal changes that come with many emotions, thoughts that are sometimes better left un-penned. But I will write this:
Where there is life, there is always hope. After the tears come to wash our spirits and soothe our hearts, the road may be bittersweet, but it’s always worth the journey.
Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds
In the sky
You’ll get by
If you smile
Through your pain and sorrow
And maybe, tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through