Stories Behind Images 2

Image 2. 43°30’42.2”N 12°50’35.4”E; Cantarino, Le Marche.                                                                                                                                                                                         Ninety one year old Maria who lives alone in former miners’ village, talks about her experience with hip replacement surgery.

Once out of the Cabernardi woods we headed to find the former miners’ village – Cantarino. We had to stop at a house to ask for directions to Rotondo, when Rinata – a cheerful woman in her early 70’s, invited us to come in for coffee. This turned out to be a full homemade lunch & wine experience with lots of talking and that was when Maria showed up.

Meeting this old lady was probably one of the most enlightening experiences from this project. She lives by herself in a part of the barrack house once occupied by her family in this former miners’ village. Although there were many stories told that day, one of them captures the spirit and resilient nature of people like Maria. Here is what she said: “I was recently admitted to the hospital for my hip replacement surgery. For a few days I was in the same room with a number of much younger people and all I had to listen to was complaints. They would whine and whine about their problems and it was going on and on. Then I stood in the middle of the room and told them: Listen! I’m 91 years old. I live in a remote village by myself. I grow veggies in my garden and go to collect herbs and wood in the forest. Grocery truck comes once a week. My life is not easy, but i never complain! So if you will start whining again, I’m going to whack you with my cane! I’m being serious!” Her expression was truly theatrical. We all laughed hard at this story and it still puts smile on my face.