Lino's hope

Publish date 06-11-2020

by Rosanna Tabasso

Reading in the Rule of the Sermig that "no one can be abandoned or removed from the Fraternity" in times of frailty, in sickness or in old age, reminds us to respect every single person not for what he does but for what he is, even when living times fragility. Indeed, precisely in times of apparent uselessness, friends give us new depths that before, busy doing, we did not see: the offer of suffering in an illness, the ability to give way to others and to withdraw from tasks and responsibilities, serenity and trust in life despite a hard trial, the ability to rediscover the little joys of life, listening to people, being close to those who suffer ... Everyone teaches us something precious that enriches us and makes us grow.

In the months of the pandemic, with the health provisions regarding the sick, for the first time we found ourselves having difficulty being close to Lino, one of us, in that period in hospital for surgery. During the months of hospitalization, the isolation was prolonged and we could not even visit him. At first we heard him on the phone, then the phone calls became more and more tiring and there was a long silence. The news alternated: it is positive at Covid, he is better, he is negative, he is negative but he is not well, he is better, maybe we will transfer him, he is worse ... And then on the morning of June 16 the news of his family members: "Lino passed away this night…". With his family we were trying to have him transferred to some nearest facility, with the hope of being able to take him to the Arsenal, within the walls he had built, in the fraternity he had seen grow. We didn't arrive in time.

Lino was one of the oldest members of our Fraternity. We met him on May 13, 1973. He had attended one of our meetings at the Palazzetto dello Sport "Afternoon of hope". That too was a time of great fragility for him. He had recently lost his wife and the child who should have been born in a car accident. He was desperate, but from that meeting a dialogue, a friendship, then a choice of life, fraternity began. Lino had chosen hope and never went back in his choice.

He never missed a meeting of fraternity or prayer. He loved everything we did, he was passionate about every human knowledge, from agriculture to technology, from personal care to the care of creation ... With his 360 ° open gaze he helped us to broaden the Sermig dream. He did not fail in his convictions and principles but he knew how to recognize the gifts of others and rejoiced as if they were his own, without envy because to advance good you have to team up.

And the we is more important than the me. We will always remember Lino for all the time, the energies, the material and spiritual help he gave us in thirty-seven years full of vitality, but we will never forget the teaching of his last months of life in the hospital, completely alone despite having a family that he loved him and a fraternity of which he was an integral part.

The loneliness he experienced in the extreme moment of his earthly life left an open wound in all of us. But that wound made us understand on the skin the anguish of thousands of others who have experienced separation from their loved ones without being able to assist them. It is a deep pain that will always go through us when we remember Lino.
Lino knew well that belonging to a community does not cancel the loneliness of the heart, that space where one is always alone, face to face only with God.

How many times in his nights will he have cried out to God his anger, his pain, how many times will he have had nostalgia for his affections and how many times will God have consoled him ... He never talked about it but knowing him it is not difficult to imagine.
He also faced this last time alone and entered eternity alone. Now "in communion we continue to fight so that there is more love of God and more justice among men, continuing to desire new heaven and earth".

Rosanna Tabasso
NP August / September 2020

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