Posted on June 17, 2021 by Christine Crosby in CAROLINE CHIRICHELLA, dad, daughter, Family, grandchild, letter, love

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Dear Dad


Dear Dad

BY CAROLINE CHIRICHELLA

Dear Dad,

It’s been 436 days since we last saw you. 436 days since you last saw your granddaughter, Lucia-Antonia.

I remember so clearly the morning you got into your cab for the airport, waving to you with Lucia in my arms. You spent Christmas with us in Italy, as you have for the past four years. Your plan, as always, was to come back for the summer. But this time, you were coming to stay. Of course, this was all back in January 2019.   

Five years ago, I permanently moved to Italy, soon got married, and welcomed my daughter. Mom decided to stay with us full-time while you continued to live and work in our hometown of New York City. For years, we all discussed how wonderful it would be when you came to join us full-time.

Dad, now, with you finally vaccinated, I can start to think of the future. I can finally dream of these wonderful things because soon, they will be a reality.

As with many families around the world, the pandemic changed our plans. For the near future, we would continue to connect almost daily through Facebook video calls. I, holding the phone up to Lucia’s face, so you could watch her enjoy her morning croissant. Or, taking you outside to show you Lucia running around the grass with our dogs.

As it is, you could have come to visit us since mom, and I are Italian citizens. But we choose to have the good sense and put it off, not wanting to put anyone at risk.

I choose not to let you know how disappointed I was that for the first time in four years you would not be joining us over the summer. And I choose not to let you know how sad it was to me that it would be Lucia’s first Christmas without you here. But I tried to remind myself, that in due time, we would all be reunited.

You decided, understandably so, that you would put off coming until you were vaccinated. But as we have seen, that is easier said than done, especially in New York City and even more so, considering that you are under 70 and without any medical conditions.

But, last night, you called me unexpectantly at 9:13 pm. I was surprised since you know that is when I usually get Lucia to bed. But good sense told me to pick up.

And then you told us. 

You had been vaccinated.

Mom and I were holding back tears, because not only did this mean you were protected, but this meant you were one step closer to being here with us. We could finally start planning for your arrival this summer, nearly a year after you were supposed to arrive full time. And a year and a half after we last saw you.

DADNow, I could allow myself to think of the future. Finally, our family reunited in Italy. You and mom, together again at last. And you, finally being here in person to see Lucia reach her milestones.

You see, I never admitted this to you, Dad, but I never allowed myself to think of the future with you here in Italy with all of us.

I never allowed myself to think of you joining us for dinner. I never allowed myself to think of you dropping Lucia off at school. I never allowed myself to think of you and me sitting down over a coffee to discuss writing.

I admit I was too scared.

Dad, now, with you finally vaccinated, I can start to think of the future. I can finally dream of these wonderful things because soon, they will be a reality.

Love,

Caroline

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR  

CAROLINE CHIRICHELLA  is a former New Yorker now working as a chef and freelance writer in Italy. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle.

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