The mystery began with a disappearance. The grizzled old woman in the black headscarf went missing one morning. Those familiar with her knew her to be harmless; still negative perceptions persisted. She was suspected of being a witch. Even in 2016, there are those (okay so it’s one person) who would believe a hunchbacked old woman is partaking in the black arts. I had a suspect. I had a motive. It was time to get Nancy Drew.
|My girl. I used to want to be Nancy Drew. How about Nancy De La Cruz?|
I began by questioning witnesses. Had the one person, the one fearful of witchery, been seen with the missing person? It didn’t take long before an eyewitness confirmed that the old woman was forcibly removed to an area inhabited by several international residents. The eyewitness had defended the old woman from the witchcraft allegations; the old woman now had a new home. I resolved to protect the old woman from continued harassment. At one point, I had to physically escort her home because the old woman was once again forcibly evicted. For now, she is safe.
Antes que llamen a la policia, know that the tale I have told is fiction loosely based on a true event. When sharing your home with folks, be they family or friends or tenants, things will sometimes get misplaced. While I may give the side-eye, I don’t make a fuss. I play detective and right the wrong as best I can. The high road is best in these situations.
For the record, la befana is a witch but she’s not a sign of my participation or endorsement of black magic. In Italy, the befana delivers the Christmas gifts on Epiphany eve, rather than Santa. So while Italians do have Christmas trees, the tradition continues.
|Does this look like a sorceress to you?|
I got a Befana doll in Piazza Navona as a keepsake from my trip with my parents to Italy where we spent an amazing Christmas complete with Midnight Mass with St. Pope John Paul II. To me, the befana reminds me of those happy memories and, ironically, as a reminder of the faith my family shares. She used to be in my kitchen but now hangs over the fireplace in the company of Russian nest dolls and Thai elephants on the mantel.
Family dynamics can be complicated. (Previously on our family sitcom) One minor change or disagreement can trigger uneasiness, tension, and confrontation. With patience and a sense of humor about these situations, those negative feelings pass.