Rome – a 70th birthday gift

A few months ago we made a reservation for two sisters, Norma and Cladeen, at Elsa’s B&B, a small place near the Colosseum, owned by a sweet, older Italian woman who started renting out a few rooms in her flat after her husband died.  This was Norma and Cladeen’s first trip to Rome, and part of a 70th birthday gift from her family, all organized by her daughter.  We had exchanged at least 60 emails with Cheryl, the daughter, hoping that everything would go smoothly for her mother and aunt.

Just before their arrival, at the height of the Occupy protests, some violence erupted right near Elsa’s.  Cheryl wrote to tell us that she’d checked in with her mom about what she’d seen on the news and her mother, a trooper, responded:

“I don’t care if I have to hide out in the B&B, I am going!”

Rome had been an afterthought.  Initially they’d planned a special cruise through the Food Network, but having collected a good amount of money from contributing family members, they decided to add in Rome, do a cooking class, and then board the boat for what would be its maiden voyage.

After their stay, Cheryl sent us this video, made by Rome Walks, that shows these two sisters thanking their family for making this trip happen.

Though it’s been a few months since I received the e-mail with this video, I kept the e-mail in my inbox and every so often a thought about them will cross my mind:  ”close family, they must be.”  ”Lots of love going around there.”  Oh, and “I guess you’re never too old.”

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