THE 3 FRANCESCOS (Story)
This photo honors FRANCO RIZZI.
He is shown here in 2011 holding his Great Grandson Francesco Mingus, who was born in 2010. He passed into the realm of Infinity’s Bow in 2012, around the time that our second son Federico Elvis was born alive & kicking, like the Simple Minds song.
Born in 1917, He was an ‘Alpino’ soldier in the Great War number 2, those being the fighters specifically trained to fight in the mountains & who were revered by their fellow warriors for the particular skill set & toughness that they needed to acquire in order to be an effective force. When I met him for the first time at the turn of this century, I was immediately taken by his Popeye sized forearms & still impressive barrel chested posture. He looked like he could knock my ass to the ground without popping a knuckle. But his warmth was apparent, & gave off the emanation of a man who had been there, done that, seen more than he cared to remember, & buried his sorrows & regrets within the wrinkles of duty & a survivor’s acceptance.
He was a quiet man, still living, as were he raised, in the twinkling hills above Como Italia. In a village by the name of ‘Sormano’. And not far from his sons & their families.
His only daughter, my wife’s mother, had long ago departed for the allure of big city promise, married & raised her family in Milano, then retired to the postcard pastoralism of Portofino. But he was quiet in the way of a man for whom inner solace was the only way he knew to dispel the tremors & abstract terrors that the battlefield bestows, & never allows one to break fully free of. Myself, having never known war, but rather service, felt an instant kinship. Both of us Men of the Army, but one of us with REAL STORIES, REAL SCARS, & wounds of substance, & the other with just a few anecdotes & complaints. And maybe a few spots where he once placed a couple of bandaids.
His wife, who passed roughly a year behind him, named Carla, a lovely & simple blond woman who appeared as were she born with an apron around her waist, upon being introduced to me, asked my as yet to be wife Francesca, if perhaps she might’ve found a local boy in the village. Francesca respectfully assured her that there were in any case, only about a few dozen people left in the village & that she’d grown up in Milano, & wasn’t too familiar with what romantic prospects the village might’ve otherwise yielded in the favor. Carla then, stood me up, walked around me taking me in & then said to her granddaughter these immoral words, “WELL, HE LOOKS LIKE HE COULD BE A SOUTHERN ITALIAN”.
And with that, Franco gave her an exasperated gasp of sound that I translated into “REALLY ?”, whereby we then all sat down in her kitchen as she seemingly tried to feed us everything that had grown or bled within the circumference of all of Northern Italy.
She complained that Francesca, still at the time modeling & doing TV work, was too skinny because as the initiated know, no Italian woman is ever thick enough for her grandmother.
And it being a lovely panoramic drive from Milano to Sormano, past sparkling lakes & up winding, contorted hills, we’d occasionally go to see Franco & Carla to pay our respects & then have to push our way off the table before having to risk being rolled back down the hill to Como, nor did I ever manage to surmise from whence in her cozy small kitchen did ALL OF THIS DAMNED FOOD SPRING FROM ? It was a mystery akin to 100’s of Clowns pouring out of a Volkswagen Beetle.
And it would delight Franco to no end when he became a Great Grandfather & would sit down from his walker & hold Mingus in his lap. They’d both fall asleep with each other with the same milk drunk half smile mirroring contentment, adrift on the buzz of a lazy afternoon. Among the most moving things I’ve ever heard in my life was that when Franco was taking the last of his enfeebled breaths, his last words were to his attendant son, who was there with him (along with the priest) to say goodbye, “I’M SO LUCKY TO HAVE A GREAT GRANDSON LIKE FRANCESCO MINGUS.” This, After having prolonged the carousel of reflection with the length of a sigh, whereupon thereafter the grip on his service to his timeline was released & his mortal burdens relieved.
I told Mingus this when he was old enough to appreciate the gravity of what love is.
And I do often feel Franco’s energy still with my sons from time to time, as protective as it is proud.
I don’t share these stories lightly because there is never not some form of backlash, or punitive emotional taxation, even my sons being attacked on the psychic planes, not to mention a plethora of other minutiae & incidentals, that fly to us as if escaping like bats from an attic’s windy draft. But these are the times we are each asked to bear witness to. And no one is without their Cross to Bear.
And to have heard that a man, who had an incredibly rich storage of memories to look back on as he was passing from this corner of life to the next, chose instead to LOOK FORWARD & to forge ahead with the gratitude of realization of what it all came down to, is what gives me a renewed faith that after all, THE END IS JUST THE NEW BEGINNING.
That, the End of the Road Only Leads to the Next. And that perhaps, there is no end at all, but just A CIRCLE OF LIFE going around & around until there’s nowhere else to go but back to the same simple truth, THAT LIFE IS ALL THERE IS & Love Is All That Matters.
So, here is Sananda Francesco, Francesco Mingus, & in his honor, Francesco Rizzi.
3 fortunate, blessed & very grateful souls.
Putting their time in, getting their work done.
Sananda Maitreya !
Monday 27 March ‘23
THIS STORY Was Edited by W. Marmoset Yarn & Sponsored by the ‘Adult Burping Society’ & the ‘Church Of Abstract Physics’ for both EIDMAR Presentations &
‘Shoot First & Ask Christian Slater’ Productions, a Limited Company with Unlimited Ambitions. We are not ‘Officially’ Affiliated with the Slater Organization, as advised by Tax Consultants, but we did once buy Weed from the same distributor
while we both in the hypnotic throes of our breathless youth.
Special Thanx to Aurora Goldman & Agnes Silverstein of PERIODIC TABLES Management.
© TreeHouse Publishing, 27th March 2023
photo/images credit: Sananda Maitreya for THP.
ps Congratulations to my wife Francesca for the 23rd anniversary of her degree in Architecture. 27/03/2000 > 27/03/2023