Originally posted on Repubblica.it - Napoli.
From Salerno, the woman appeals to the girls she has not seen for three weeks: “Understand my pain, call me”.
“These two teddy bears were my little girls’, now I only have them”.
Grazia di Nicola, 48, of Colliano in the province of Salerno, looks with nostalgia at her daughter’s toys whom she has not heard from for three weeks.
It all started three years ago when the woman, a Jehovah’s Witness, had to undergo surgery.
Faithful to the rules imposed by her beliefs, she had initially refused the blood transfusions but due to the clinical complexity of her situation, the doctors put pressure on her to change her mind as she risked losing her life. After some inner turmoil, Grazia Di Nicola agreed to follow the directions from the doctors, but from that moment her whole life changed.
The first trauma was expulsion from Jehovah’s Witnesses, then she was shunned by her three daughters, who are also Jehovah’s Witnesses. Accusing her of being a sinner, the three girls aged 30, 25 and 21 severed their relationship with the family and left their parents’ home and went to live with other Jehovah’s Witnesses in Colliano.
Three weeks ago, they received their latest shock. The three daughters left Colliano and now the family does not know where they are. “Daddy, your little brother and I just want to make sure you are all right – says the woman by appealing to the daughters – We respect your religious decisions, this is out of the question, but you realize our pain, you know well that we miss you, call us “. The mother flips through the family album with photos of her girls when they were younger, stopping on the image of them smiling around the time the youngest was born in hospital, and she becomes restless.
“I experienced the earthquake of the eighties – she says bitterly – if that tragedy were repeated today, if there was a jolt right now, I would not know in which house my daughters are, I cannot accept it. An accident happened in the past and we were unaware of what had happened, only to find out much later: it is not normal for a parent who has made sacrifices for her children not to know where they are, I do not know what to do, I hope they are able to understand how much we are suffering for them and can present themselves alive “.