Showing posts with label Immigrants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Immigrants. Show all posts

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Going Back to Italy

It's been a long time since I've been back to Italy or my parents home town in  Italy.  The reasons for not going back seem to get more complicated and I seem to get busier with either life or work.  Going to Italy used to very important to me to at least visit once a year.  My parents haven't been back in a while either just for reasons of life, getting older and handling their financial business and issues here.  As I've posted in the past, my parents are in a place now where the time has come where they have to either have sell off or condense their lives.  My parents have always managed to live a modest life, work hard and own their own homes, but are faced with many challenges here in America as seniors.  As the daughter of senior parents it's not easy taking care of all those things, my parents are complex people, who don't like you in their business, but I guess we're past that now, my siblings and I try very hard to be care givers, but as many of you with strong headed people --especially Calabrese parents--- that task is not easy.  It's a very strange day when you realize your once strong parents are getting old, are old and now need your help.  I'm sure throughout your life you get upset with you parents for different reasons and then the day comes when you realize your roles are reversed.  So, getting mad anymore is gone and now we as children have to do our best to take care of our parents, even if we still don't agree with them.. ( I laugh as I write this, because they are so damn stubborn!)

I travel often for either work or pleasure, but it seems lately more domestically, my goal is to get back to Italy soon and do my normal visit and stay in our home town in Italy.  There is nothing like Italy and it's my second home, but America is my first and our lives are here.  I'm sure many children of immigrants struggle with this sort of identity crisis.  I love my Italian family as well and sometimes I get upset when I hear they think Americans live like KINGS, and in essence I feel we work very hard with every reward earned.  Today was a day of reflection and an inside scoop to the journey of getting back to Italy.  I will be in Italy in the next few months, stay tuned.


Friday, May 31, 2013

What Happened to the American Dream?

You know that saying, you have to write about what you know.  I am very particular about what I post on my Italian American Girl site as you can tell.  I don't write and post just to have anything up here, I am truthful about what I write because I feel the authenticity is what makes this site successful.  I often ask myself about life, 'do other people go through what I am going through?'  We often compare ourselves to others when we are faced with challenges in our lives.  I have been blessed my whole life in many ways and when we work hard, have no time, have family obligations, dealing with other problems, etc. things can  become overwhelming at times.  

In many posts in the past, I always say 'family is everything.'  I believe this is true, who else is there for you or will hand you the truth when you need it? Yes, your family.  So, when I say I am blessed I know I am, regardless of all the challenges.  More recently, my family and I have been faced with having to figure out how to move forward financially with my parents as they are aging.  Thank God, they are both of health and mind, but financially things are becoming increasingly hard as they're both retired.  My father came to this country over 50 years ago and worked two to three jobs, he never stopped.  Granted we were not millionaires and we most definitely lived a modest life, they still do.  After raising four children, my mother went off to work as well, she was not shy of hard work and definitely brought home her half of the bacon.   I grew up in a household where working hard and having a good work ethic were major influences and requirements.  Nothing wrong with that.  Buy your own car, buy your own house, take pride in your hard work -- do and BE the American dream.  

Fast forward to today and now we're working harder than ever, taxes are rising, seniors are living on less than fixed incomes as I know first hand from handling many financial elements for my parents.  My father came to this country when they were telling him back in Calabria that if you come to America, you're set for life -- you have to work hard, but you will be able to retire and your kids will have a better life than in Italy.  He did it, he bought and sold many homes, he never complained, he paid his taxes, he gave to whoever needed help, he gave other people jobs, and now they're faced with how to keep their home, pay debt back, and just live.  Look, this isn't a political piece I'm writing here, I'm talking about the facts, the actions, the history of the American dream, which prompts me to ask, 'What happened to the American dream?'

I am American, I love my country, but I want my parents American Dream supported and not pulled out from under their feet. I'm a child of immigrant parents, they worked hard, I work hard -- Can we get the dream back?