When In Rome! / by PJ Monson

photo 4

I just got back home from an epic mother-daughter trip to the one-and-only Italy.  We visited Rome, Florence and the Amalfi Coast (I KNOW.) It's difficult to convey how incredible it was to see the Trevi Fountain for the first time, or to walk into St. Peter's Basilica.  I felt that I walked into a story book or a Tolkien novel, where there are cobble stoned streets and African trees and epic sculptures by Michelangelo. We learned about medieval times and the plague, the Renaissance, the Medici family, the Catholic Church, we saw the great David and The Duomo.  We took a walking tour of Florence and took a bus to a village on top of a mountain overlooking the Tuscan hillside.   And it was all embellished by the fact that I was there with my Mom. She is my very best friend, and because I was traveling with her these magnificent pieces of artwork and churches from long-ago were all the more beautiful because I could see them through her eyes. I got to see her see them.

photo 2

  My mother and I are spittin' images of each other.  Our bodies are just alike.  And as I tried to wrap my head around the fact that people had walked on these very streets for thousands of years, I thought about my mother and me.  Our family tree.  It's humbling to think about yourself as just one among the masses... just another generation of people walking about this great earth.   A mother and daughter among millions of mothers and daughters.

The most important thing I learned from our trip to Italy is how beautiful my and my mother's relationship is.    How we are cosmically linked. How we have the same eyes and the same feet and the same disposition. How we are perhaps only walking around on this earth once, and how we should make the most of it.  Make the most of our relationships.  Make the most of ourselves.

This week I plan to kiss my husband and call my mom and smile at my best friend and tell her that it is all really alright.  I'll tell them how I learned that we are more important than we ever dreamed and less important than we can ever know.  And I think that's a good thing.