Angie enjoyed this stage of her life in no small part because of the love and happiness generated by her parents, the Italian WB atmosphere, and the overall way members of her larger family of families’ got along with each other.
Unfortunately, an unexpected, devastating event would soon shock the whole family! Speaking to a few of his friends, Giuseppe leaned on the railing next to the stoop leading down to the Italian Social Club he frequented. The rusty metal suddenly gave way, propelling his body three feet down and through one of the two glass-pane windows beside the entrance door. He suffered numerous lacerations to his head.
After the ambulance team rushed the 76-year-old to St. Catherine’s Hospital and ER doctors finished his initial treatment round, nurses under doctors’ orders permitted only adult family members and friends to visit him, again saddening Angie. The sudden initial shock of the accident combined with this restriction left her shaken up, scared, and lonely, which went unnoticed by others because of how the trauma affected the whole family.
Giuseppe eventually returned home, and Angie was happy to see him again. But he was not well. Hardly able to talk, within a few weeks, he died.
Desperation slammed into Angie, who shuddered to think who might be next to die in her family. A devastating fear in her heart prevented her from easily navigating this loss of her beloved grandpa so soon after losing her grandma.
Friends and extended family, too, were demoralized. Two family tragedies in as many years made the healing harder and recovery longer.
More upset was to come. A few months later, the larger family’s spotlight narrowed and focused on a nearly invisible crack in their love and respect for each other, which threatened to blow their entire family-friendly world apart. Luigi noticed that his younger half-brother Antonio wore silk suits and socks and thought this odd because Antonio worked as a tailor with their father, and their shop did not manufacture silk menswear. He suspected that his half-brother’s leisure-time activities likely also involved dealing with illegal substances. To his surprise, Antonio rebuffed Luigi when he broached the subject to him.
“ ’Va fongool, Luigi!’ Mind your own business. You don’t know what you are talking about!”
This vociferous reply fired up Luigi’s greater concern that his half-brother might be up to no good. He told his father his suspicions and what happened between the two brothers.
Unexpectedly, Pietro took sides, choosing Antonio’s story over Luigi’s. He told Luigi that he was crazy to suspect something like that of his half-brother.
The close-knit fabric of the family weakened and wore thin. Emotionally tattered at its edges, the family’s door opened to the possibility of more discordant drafts of frigid air. Sure enough, an unfortunate incident showed up and shattered the fragile family unit.
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