The story of my uncle Filippo

2년 전

I had an uncle, named Filippo. He was a jovial individual.
He is the small kid standing on the right side with my dad's hands around his neck.
From left to right, my oldest uncle, the parents of my father, my little auntie, my youngest uncle and my father

When my uncle Filippo was a kid, he studied theology at the monastery in Borgetto.
at 10

He never had the vocation to become a priest, because he liked girls too much...
So he left the monastery and when he reached the major age, he was obliged to serve the military service in Udine, in the very North of Italy. At that time, television was not spread enough and everybody was still speaking dialect. People from different regions couldn't understand each other.
What a charming man!



Here he is with other soldiers. What a sweet smile and mustache!



Sicily was very poor in the 60's and 70's and many people migrated. After the military service, he also left to Germany to look for a job, but he felt out of place. It was too cold and they didn't have good food. I don't know the real story, because my father never told me more than that.

Germany in the 70's. What a style!

...And he came back to Sicily. He was a traffic policeman for a couple of years

Then he survived for the rest of his life playing poker. He was a great gambler. He won a lot of money, but he also lost a lot of it.

He was single for all his life and he traveled around Italy to bet and play in casinos.

His life was highly precarious.
Uncle Filippo for the Cresima of my sister (I'm 6 and standing on the right)

Uncle Filippo and me on the beach, 3 years before he died. I was his favorite nephew. He thought me how to bluff at poker. He thought me how to lose and how to not show my feelings while playing. When I was a child I was in love with him and I was dreaming to become his girlfriend.

Uncle Filippo with my grandmother in their family house. He lived with her until the end. We never suspected he had depression. Sometimes you can't imagine what's going on inside a person's heart.
He was a very sensitive soul and he couldn't take to be jobless at an older age.

On 19th July 1998, when I was 13 and he was only 47, he was found hanging in his house. He never explained the reasons of this action, however he wrote a testament to distribute his legacy.

Every now and then he comes to my dreams to smile at me. I know his spirit is still protecting me.
I miss you and I still love you dearly, uncle.
I wish I could still enjoy your charme and your jokes. I wish I could still play poker with you.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

Shooting stars burn out fast.
Across the world in Texas I'm raising a glass to Filippo; A man I never met, but now admire.

As for his death, I offer this quote:

"The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling."

I know this feeling because I have been there. Thankfully I failed, but I understand. Taking one's life is an impossible decision, but it is easy for others to judge. Filippo's fire burned too bright to keep shining.


A beautiful spirit! You are lucky to have known him. :)
I like how he comes to visit you in your dreams!

What a sad, yet poignant story. His life, though, still serves purpose in its affect on yours. All we can really leave behind, I guess, is our impressions on others and we can only hope they are fond memories and good things to be cherished, as it seems it is with you and your lovely uncle. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Wow, what a sad ending. Weird, I was just thinking on my favorite departed Uncle then I stumble upon your blog and since it was about your uncle it enticed me, never suspecting such an end.

I did not know Sicily was rather poor during those years. I still have distant relatives there. My Mother’s family originated from there and not exactly Spain as we had thought, but her family was far from poor.

This comment was made from

What a touching story. I think your uncle would have liked your words. And I'm glad that I have the same name as your uncle. In my opinion, he was a good man, but i seems to him he had to live in hard times.

Cheers to uncle Fillipo. Beautiful tribute.

I laughed a few times reading this, with him teaching you to play poker, with him not liking Germany because of the food, with learning about different dialects... great read.

I'm very behind on here....what else is new.
I loved your story of Uncle Filippo. A very touching tribute to him. Made me smile and also very sad. There is nothing like family in the world, and uncles seem to have a very special place. And yours was quite the character. I'm sad that you lost him so young, yet also glad on one scale, that you got to know him so well. The true magic of life. He will be with you all your life, and nice he still comes to you in your dreams. Thanks for sharing an important person in your life. Cheerio(s)