From Leo Buscaglia's Bk: Living, Loving and Learning.
Our Parents never hid life from us.They always let us know when they were despondent and unhappy and fearful. They never let us believe that they were Rocks of Gibraltar.
I remember my Father sitting down and telling us that his partner had absconded with all their money and he didn't even know where our next meal was coming from.
Mama had the craziest habit - she loved to laugh.And that just struck her so funny. He was furious with her! She was laughing, tears were coming down her cheeks. You know what she did?We all went off and came home that evening and she had prepared a banquet such as we would have for a baptism or a wedding; pasta, veal, everything!
My Father said, 'My God, what's this?'
She said,' I spent everything on this.'
He said, 'You are CRAZY!'
She said,'The time we need joy is NOW, not later.This is the time we need to be happy. Shut up and eat.
I was lucky.I had an incrdible, wonderful Papa and an insane Mama. She always brought joy and music and beauty and understanding to our home. Papa was very serious.
I was learning from them all the time.No one ever stopped to tell me those things. But I learned. I learned pride.We were very very poor.All of the money that we have cannot buy what we learned.
I remember getting to the point where I really had very little money---- almost none.I thought I'd just wire home., that,s all. I went to the Telegraph Office in Paris, and, to save money, just wrote,'Starving. Felice.' One mord but significant.Twenty four hours later , I had a telegram from Mama and IT said,'Starve; Mama.'The moment of truth! At long last, I was an adult.
I'm going to tell you what that taught me.It taught me about hunger, it taught me about how cold a place can be. It taught me a lot and I never would have learnt it if Mama had relented and sent me a check.