PTSD is how they classified my disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome. It's one of the great conditions where time doesn't heal all wounds but you actually start to feel worse. So after six months, when the nightmares started and I gradually stopped communicating verbally, Grappa began to get worried. Really worried. He was always cheerful, but I could see the strain behind the healthy rose color that stained his cheeks and offset his trim white beard. His dimples didn't flash as often when he smiled because he smiled much less often, or at least without any real authenticity. Grappa was a powerful man with a few boat loads of money so he started asking around for a good therapist. He'd decided that the school counselor was less than adequate.
The first night that I awakened screaming from a classic abandonment dream, I saw his hands shake and hated myself for adding to his grief. I had dreamed that I was in a car with my parents and that they had invited me to tour the Amalfi Coast with them. My father was singing in his floating tenor voice and my mom was singing all of the wrong words when suddenly Dad lost control of the car. The car began to tip over the edge of the hazardous pass when my parents disappeared and I was alone in the car as it fell over and over and over again. All that remained was my screams, which apparently awakened Grappa. When he asked me what had happened, I couldn't speak. I could only shake and cry.
Desperate for a way to reach me, Grappa began to hum some melodies from operatic arias that comforted him. I couldn't speak but I could relate to the music. Then he'd bought me an I Pod and downloaded some of his favorite music. I was compelled by the music of a young composer, Luca Cantanta. Grappa told me that Luca's surname meant song, in Italian. Something about his music seduced me musically and in other ways that were beyond my years. I felt as though angels wings were brushing against my soul when I listened to his haunting and hypnotic melodies.
I didn't know that years later I would not only meet, but love someone like Luca. Even though I was suffering, I was also preparing for my destiny. I couldn't know then where it would take me. Thank God for that.