Karen Ross Epp
Taken from page 18.
Rose knew her fears would become a reality as soon as they told her
parents of their engagement. Her parents liked Jack on the surface but
wondered about the background of the man in their Rosa’s life. Jack was a
stranger to them and worst of all, not Italian. When she broke the news of
Jack’s proposal, her parents were distraught and a bit hysterical.
Still fresh in their minds and hearts was the death of their oldest
child, Carina, only a year earlier. The family had been devastated when the
doctors conceded, “There is nothing we can do!” Only twenty-five years
old, their daughter had died peacefully in her own bed, her family at her
side. Rose’s engagement, and so soon, was yet another upheaval in their
Rose sat, hands folded in her lap, head down in humility, while her
father paced back and forth in front of her. Shaking his fists, and speaking
in Italian, he said, “How could you do this to us, after what we’ve been
through?” Her mother sobbed in the corner, raising her hands to the
heavens in supplication to all the family members who’d passed on. So this
was what wailing and gnashing of teeth looked like, Rose thought.
Finally her father stopped ranting and stood in front of her, exhausted
and out of breath. In broken English, he said, “Rosa! Non-capisco! I don’t
She lifted her head slowly and looked into his dark Sicilian eyes.
“Papa, I’m twenty-two years old. ‘Lolo amo molto.’—I love him. I’m
going to marry him.”