Newsletter 48a - March 2004
There are just over a couple of weeks to go until Pinuccia and I are married, so this will be my last newsletter as a bachelor. In the last couple of weeks it has hit me that it is something that is going to be happening soon, rather than some event still to happen some distant future. We will actually be flying to Sicily on the 3rd so as to have a week for the final preparations, and in any case Pinuccia will have to stay at home most of the time so that all of the wedding guests can come to visit her at some time. There are some quaint Sicilian wedding customs! After the wedding we will come back to Trento for a day, before leaving again. Since the ECM biennial conference in Turkey starts the following Saturday, it is cheaper to fly to Turkey via London than directly, and one of Pinuccia's dreams has been to visit Paris, we will be spending a few days there before passing through London on the way to the conference. We get back to Trento on April 25, and on May 1 have organised a party to celebrate our wedding for our friends at Trento that were not able to go to Sicily. It is an appropriate date, because it was at a church event on May 1 last year that we made our first public appearance together, and our first photo together is from that date. In fact, this month if full of memories and anniversaries for us – the first time we met for a coffee and for a walk through town last Monday, deciding to start going out together the day before we leave for Sicily, realising we were sure that we wanted to continue our relationship half way through the conference... All these reminiscences are fuelled by the sudden arrival of the Spring weather last week (after having had a heavy snowfall just the week before), which apart from the usual opening up and more cheerful mood that it creates in people, brings to me special memories, not just of meeting in parks, walking around town or going to the lake together, but also of how my life was overturned. Every time I see Pinuccia or can help her in some way, I have more joy, and she has created or pulled out the best of me. There are things I do and feel now that I didn't a year ago, which apart from helping my relationship with her, have improved my relationship with other friends and with God.
In the past few months, we have done a marriage preparation course and read a few books together, which have been useful in helping us to realise some of the issues will we have to face as a couple. Whilst doing the course, I stopped going to the group in the Valsugana (as they were on the same night), but they had no problem continuing themselves, which was good to see. Now I have to organise the other three cell groups that I am a part of for the month of April when we will be absent.
I have also been spending quite a bit of time lately with a couple, especially the wife, to help them with various problems that they have. It will be interesting to see if and how my being married will change the help that I can give to them – it will at least make my advice a bit less theoretical. In any case, I hope that Pinuccia will be able help me with such counselling. Last week we bought a book that we will be reading together, and I bought a copy for the other couple as well, with the idea to discuss it together when we return at the end of April.
The plans for July and August, when we will be in Australia, are starting to come together, with quite a few visits to churches and elsewhere already planned. If you would like us to come to visit you, contact me soon, as the opportunities are decreasing as the dates get booked up.