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Vieni via con me

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For me it's a little unusual thing, but I felt like telling a love story that has entered inside me and it no longer has got out as it happens to important stories, when you meet them, read them, listen to them. It's spring 1973, before I was born One girl from Alto Adige (northern Italy) is on a trip with her parish to Rome She gets lost in the streets of Rome, the largest city in which she had ever been She must go to Venice square, but she really doesn't know how to make her way. In Campo dei Fiori square she sees a man sat, and asks to him an indication This man stands up, tall more than 1,90 m... And he gives her not just the indication, but also comes with her While they walk, she notes that he walks with a limp She says to him: "Don't worry. I go alone". And he: "No, I come with you all the way". So Piero Welby and Mina go together to Venice square In the travel time they talk about all what is possible to speak in few minutes When they greet each other, they exchange adresses and phone numbers They begin to write and to phone each other For Piero, this Mina really hasn't come out from his head And Mina comes back to visit him in Rome, after some time... And this time she will no longer go away, because Mina and Piero get engaged They live for a while at Piero's family home, with the parents of him A peaceful climate is established And the mother, as all mums who always seek to marry off their sons... ...finds the occasion during a dinner to say: "Hey guys, why don't you get married?" Piero keeps silent. Mina looks at the floor, Piero changes the subject And the evening end this way But when they remain alone, Mina asks to him: "Why didn't you answer? Don't you want to marry me? Piero answers: "No, I don't intend to marry you. Because you have to be free. Free to go away when you want... Free to go away when I will be as rigid as a trunk... Free when your life will become a hell, to aid a sick person who suffers from muscolar distrophy". Because Piero has this illness. Mina knows this. She had already seen him hobbling but... ...When there is passion, the beginning of something, everything seems possible to you After all you don't think about it, but Piero says to her: "Just know that I will die stifling. How can I conceal it to you?... ...And how can I lead you into this life? Keep me alone in this damning". But Mina replies by a sentence that could seem superficial, a little hasty... But in reality it's one of those sentences as deep as the Ocean And she says to him: "But who fears the future doesn't live the present". And so she demolish, by her simplicity, the drama that Piero had addressed to her. "We shall see about that. Meanwhile let's love each other!". And the get married, in church. Piero arrives to the marriage on wheelchair. Slowly the illness, which is neurodegenerative, blocks you completely. Legs, hands, arms. Untill the heart. He loved deeply to walk in the forests because his father, a hunter, took him with himself. Now he can't anymore. And so Mina gets him to go to fish Mina begins to set up the hook and the worm, she herself marvel: "I couldn't imagine that in a lifetime I would end up with setting up worms on a hook". But she learns this, too. All the misfortunes, that happen and will happen in their life, seems to become occasions, especially for Mina... but also for Piero, to reinvent an other way of life. As if every obstacle was a necessary way to test the feeling... And above all to build something. Something enjoyable... something solid. Not merely a way to carry forward a tragedy No! Reinventing a life. Piero asks to Mina a promise Since the trachea gradually goes limp... There is the risk of a respiratory failure, for this reason he had said "I will die stifling"... ...He says: "When I have a respiratory failure, Mina, don't call the ambulance!... Keep me there. I beg you. Don't make me end up tracheotomized, in a bed". She promises. But then, this terrible day comes This very damned respiratory failure comes She doesn't feel up to it. She calls the ambulance, and Piero undergo a tracheotomy. From that day he will always live attached to a machine that pumps for him the air in his lungs A machine that make a sound as the one of a piston of an old steam locomotive Their life, however, doesn't stop at all. Rather it continues. It goes on. The environment can't anymore be explored? No problem. Mina brings the environment at home. They begin to photograph the flies, the spiders These insects become their models: their dream of nature transferred in a domestic dimension And they go on. They continue to build a life as if the obstacle was something to go past... ...not something that stops you, that clips you, that breaks your soul And he himself will say to her: "Mina, you are let me do so may things that I have almost forgotten the sufferings". But meanwhile Piero sees his body slowly getting lost Distrophy is an appalling disease because in spite of all you remain clear-headed Piero himself for example didn't get tranquillizers He wanted to be always vigilant And now, instead, he feels that he is no longer himself In short he feels that his life has come to an end He starts a battle. He joins the Radical Party, with which he starts a battle on themes he is most keen on... the topics about the rights of sick persons. Against heroic treatment. He sets on a blog: "The caliban", drawing his inspiration from the Caliban's character in Sheakspeare's work. A figure not worthy of human features, just as he felt a little. He, very tall man, a former hippy, one who had travelled around half Europe. He, ended up there, as a human trunk. His voice (He hadn't voice anymore) was a vocal synthesizer... which he composed looking at the letters of the alphabet. So by eyes he wrote. And that metallic voice was his voice. He writes this way a letter to Italian president, Napolitano. A letter that he reads by his metallic voice, and that stands for a manifesto of his fight for life. I wish we heard it together "Life is the woman who loves you, the wind among the hair the sunlight on your face, the evening stroll with a friend Life is also the woman that leaves you, a rainy day, the friend that disappoints you I am not melancholic, nor maniac nor depressed Dying horrifies me. Unfortunately, what has stayed with me is no longer life. It's only a stubborn effort to keep some biological functions alive". It's a wonderful. And it's not only about the bioethics issue It's wisdom. The wind among the hair, the woman that you love but also the one that leaves you, and also the friend that betrays you Here there isn't a man who conceive life just as something that must be alright Certainly life can go also badly: "Dying horrifies me". Certainly he is afraid. He doesn't want to pander to suicide He doesn't even think about it. But that isn't life anymore The strength of Piero Welby, Beppino Englaro and Coscioni is that of acting by law That is, the possibility of choice Remember that Piero could easily go to Switzerland. And Mina suggests it to him There it's possible, there it is no heroic treatment, and there they make you sleep And he replies: "And what if the plane crashes?". What? Because his goal was not just to solve a personal issue... but to create the possibility of choice according to law Beppino Englaro too turns to Costitution, turns to law Otherwise Piero and Luca Coscioni could solve everything paying the usual bribe... Euthanasia already exists in Italian hospitals. They pay somebody silently Somebody had even suggested it to Mina: "You don't feed him anymore, and gradually he grows weak" But how is it possible? That's why these words are not just about rights of sick persons... But rights of everybody as Italians. Because every time we turn to law for a personal choice... We are saving the right of everybody. This is what emerges from the message that Piero sends to Napolitano A doctor, Mario Riccio, like all Italy listens to this appeal by a man who is over... and a man who, quoting Carlo Maria Martini, doesn't looks for death and... ...avoiding heroic treatment doesn't want to cause death, but he accepts to cannot prevent it He wants simply that death is not prevented to come, and that tube in the middle of his throat is not anymore. Only this. And so this doctor calls him. And they arrange a meeting. They meet few days before Christmas. When the doctor arrives, Mina obviously is sad When she joins Piero's battle against heroic treatment, Mina feels it almost like a separation from herself And when he says: "My life is over, I want the last gesture to be done, I wanto to be torn out from the machine"... She answer: "I don't accord to you the divorce!". As though that gesture was against her. But then she realizes. She realizes that, had he been able, Piero would have enjoyed with her not one but ten lives. But that isn't life anymore. So Mina becomes red-eyed... Because she realizes that that dinner was the last dinner to prepare and to eat together And also a question comes... which for me, when I knew about this story, is like the pillar of their love affair Because there are many times, when we love, in which we would want to ask universal questions, very deeply... ...But at the end of the day you don't dare to ask them because you feel a little ridicolous or because you think you receive a insincere answer Instead Piero, since he is in that condition, dares to ask to her: "But have you are been happy, living this way?". And she replies: "The best of possible lives, I have led... ...Always full, always building something". So there is nothing dying, but something being transformed. Piero Welby says his "yes", and Mina, before the anesthesist soothes him and cuts off power from the machine... Mina looks at him in his eyes and says: "Are you sure?". And he answers closing his eyes once, which is his way to say "yes". And Piero falls asleep. At last. Voluntarily. Piero and Mina have grown up in catholic culture They asks for catholic funeral But they will receive this answer: "Regarding the request for ecclesiastical funeral rite for the deceased Piero Welby... The vicariate of Rome specify that it has not been able to allow that funeral rite Because, rather than the event of suicide, in which we assume the lack of conditions of full awareness and free consent... In Welby case, his willingness to cut out his life was known, since it had been repeatedly and pubicly stated

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes
Country: Italy
Language: Italian
Views: 174
Posted by: tommasino on Nov 25, 2010

Roberto Saviano tells about Piergiorgio Welby's story

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