Home alone at Christmas, or almost

Christmas is sometimes one of the few opportunities left for elders to gather the family around the table and while eating, sharing happiness and talking with each other about what happened throughout the year and what will happen. A family is not necessarily about blood ties. It could be children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, pets or just a group of friends, anyone who brings us joy.

It’s disappointing to leave these people alone at Christmas, especially if they have already lost their soulmate or live way too far from the rest of the family. That’s why these festivities are important because they bring back old good memories and give the opportunity to make some new ones as well. At Christmastime, many elders are afraid of being alone, far from their relatives. Over the years, there have been more and more families that, due to working needs, have had to move away and haven’t had the possibility to reach their hometown and pay a visit to their parents. We mustn’t forget how important it is for these people to have some company and the joy they get from it.

What happened to Mr. Malavolti is something we should focus on and realise how love is still in some way the thing we are always looking for, despite difficulties and this tough time we are living in. Because of safety regulations for Covid-19, over 3 million elders have spent Christmas alone.

December, 25 2020 – Malavolti Fiorenzo, 94 years old, didn’t want to remain alone in his apartment on Christmas morning in Bologna, Italy. He picked up the phone and made a call headed to the Carabinieri barrack in Vergato. These are his words: “Buongiorno, mi chiamo Malavolti Fiorenzo, ho 94 anni e sono solo in casa, non mi manca niente, mi manca solo una persona fisica con cui scambiare il brindisi di Natale. Se ci fosse un militare disponibile, dieci minuti a venire a trovarmi perché sono solo, ho i figli lontani, 94 anni e sono depresso…”  “Goodmorning, my name is Malavolti Fiorenzo, I’m 94 years old and I’m home alone. I’m looking for nothing but a real person to bring a toast to Christmas with. Is there any chance that there is an available serviceman who could come over for 10 minutes and keep me company? I’m alone, my children are away from home, I’m 94 and depressed…”                   

Upon hearing the news, a small troop from the barrack in Alto Reno Terme (BO) headed, wearing a mask, to the man’s house, where he was waiting for them anxiously. Once there, they were welcomed by Fiorenzo’s huge smile because he had got emotional by seeing them coming through his door. They brought a toast to Christmas together. While eating and drinking the servicemen listened to remarkable story times from his past life, as everyone should do while being in the company of such a treasure of knowledge.

This act of kindness, solidarity and support made Fiorenzo’s day and brought some delight into his life. It’s pleasant to think that this is not the only episode of togetherness we’ve witnessed this year, that’s what we need more and more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jonathan Vicinzino 3BL