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A Tale of Friendship in Menaggio

There are people we meet whose energy can feel familiar for some reason and this is what happened to me when I first saw Anna at Caffe Centrale, my favourite spot for coffee and Aperol Spritz and where I go to read the Italian newspaper, La Provincia. Although I do not understand it all, I'm trying to familiarize myself with this ''bella lingua'', which I hope I can speak fluently at some point. Nevertheless, my encounter with Anna was familiar because she reminded me of my late mother who I miss every day. It felt as if she were here with me still while enjoying time spent together.

When I lost my mother, my whole world was shattered as she was the pillar of our family. It was especially difficult for me because I have no family of my own as opposed to some of my siblings. When I learned that she passed away, I was on the plane on my way to Montreal from New York. Needless to say, it was a long flight for me!

Contrary to my mother who had eight children, Anna, who is a widow from Milano, has only one son who now lives in England and as she gets older, it is difficult to live alone. Like most families, children are often busy building their lives and it is easy to forget how important our parents are until they leave our world. Spending time with Anna reminds me of those precious moments I spent with my mother who was often visiting me when I was married. Nonetheless, I still think of how self-absorbed I was then and did not give her as much attention as I should have. There is a saying: ''People don't find anyone by chance, every person is a test, a lesson or a gift'' - High Vibes. As most of my friends are, which I refer to as my family of friends, Anna is also a gift of life on this extraordinary journey in Lake Como!

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