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Leaving Home

This is the final blog, that recounts my recent travel experiences, following in my mother’s footsteps around her home town of Torino (Turin) in Northern Italy. It is appropriate then that it mimics the ending of the first book and incorporates the start of the second book that tells the incredible story of my parents’ lives during World War 2 and then, in Southern Africa in the 50s and 60s.

A week after their wedding in February 1955, my mum and dad caught a taxi to the Porta Nuova train station. From Torino (Turin), they travelled to the romantic city of Venezia (Venice). A slow taxi ride from the train station to the port of Venice, was all the time they had to enjoy the sights. Once there, they made their way onto the motonave-the motorised ship that would take them from Italy to Southern Africa.


I cannot imagine how my mum must have felt at that time although she has told me there was a swirl of emotions. “I was leaving behind the only family that I knew. Nonna and Mamma had provided for my every need. I was torn between what I knew and a comfortable life I had led, to follow the man I loved, to start again, in a place I had never been before!”

It’s likely we’ve all been in a situation that has had us second-guessing our decisions whether it involves affairs of the heart, ambition or other. My mother gave up everything. She knew her new life wasn’t going to be easy, but she determined to embrace it. This incredible tenacity, perseverance and belief was a strong driver to me when writing the two books. I think of my mum when I reflect on this Buddha saying: “Happiness is a journey, not a destination …”

The two photos were taken over sixty years apart. The one is of my parents just about to board the ship that would take them to Southern Africa. The other, is of Venice showing some gondolas under the Bridge of Sighs taken recently. My mum didn’t have time for a gondola ride, but she was at the start of an incredible adventure. It is all up to us to make the most of our lives, one day at a time.

Marisa Parker - Author


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