Betty Duffy

(Amateur)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bait and Switch

My religious reversion was not complete after my trip to Rome. Nor did I fall for my husband the first time I met him. The pilgrimage was the impetus for disengaging with 'Bob,' but I drifted around for a long time after that, having mountaintop religious experiences at retreats, then returning to a negative lifestyle.

And I’m not even sure if I can call my trip to Rome a pilgrimage. It was an accidental pilgrimage.

My parents had given me an address for a place to stay outside of Rome that would house me for ten dollars a day. They’d made some new friends while I was overseas, who had told them about it. Hostels in Rome were already booked because it happened to be Holy Week, so I had no choice if I wanted to stay in Rome between the Hilary and Trinity terms.

At the line of cabs outside of the train station, I showed a cab driver the address on my piece of paper and he dropped me off at a bus stop with some instructions in Italian that I didn’t understand. I took the first bus that stopped there, and looked around once inside for someone to help me translate. I showed several people the piece of paper with the address on it, and finally said out loud, “Villa Della Giustiniana?” Most people continued to stare straight ahead, but a large, older Italian woman smiled, “Giustiniana?” I nodded, and she came back to sit down next to me. A few stops later, she grabbed me by the arm and pulled me off the bus with her. We walked several blocks arm in arm while she talked. I didn’t understand a word, until she stopped in front of a gate, hugged and kissed me on the cheek and said “ciao.” I assumed that this was my destination, and sure enough, upon ringing the bell on the gate, I discovered that I had indeed arrived at Villa Della Giustiniana, otherwise known as the House of Formation for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi.

Parents are smart.

2 comments:

Gardenia said...

and that woman was your guardian angel. :)

Dawn Farias said...

Love it!