I am back to you once again; I am here to ask for shelter. To you, to my discreet confidant who knows how to listen and how to be a messenger, I want to reveal my state of mind and fix some thoughts, right now that Christmas Day, the most beautiful day of the year, is so close.
It is one of the precious lessons my parents have given me and that I already used to put into practice when I was still wearing short trousers. Every night, along with my prayers, in the silence of my bedroom it was time for a balance of the day just gone. I used to think of what I had learned, of my goals and of what I had stumbled upon, something that often happened. It was a way to give weight to my experiences, keeping them inside; it was the desire to make the best of my mistakes, but also to have a grateful thought for those who had expressed friendship or goodwill towards me, and to plan a better tomorrow, a happier and more constructive one.
One after the other, the days have become months and then years. And yet, still today, this is a habit that is dear to me, that time has made pleasant and necessary, even more when, like in this case, there is a full calendar that is going to be filed.
I am no longer in the little bed of my birthplace, surrounded by the night voices of the Tuscan countryside (sounds that I loved, because they spoke of a mysterious life, that was swarming around us, watching over our sleep). Today most of the times in a hotel bedroom, where I have to think in which part of the world I am, I still make a balance, I make plans, I try to evaluate my mistakes, to thank God. To thank him for all that – most of the times undeservedly – life has given to me, for the marvelous family that surrounds me and for you all that follow me with affection and who appreciate the art that I obstinately try to celebrate, with my poor means.
The one that is leaving us is a year full of great events and great changes. It makes me feel dizzy when I think that Amos, my eldest son, is studying to become an aerospace engineer. As well as I am feeling dizzy when I think of little Virginia who has just started her course of studies, experiencing her first day of nursery school…while Matteo, high school, is going through that wonderful and complex tumult that is a blossoming life, belonging to a future that still has to be monitored, in order to understand which will be “his own path”.
It is a great joy, dear diary, when you realize that the reflections and the advice offered to your children, are never vain…when you talk to your children with love thinking of their own good your words never are a “waste of time”. Even if they are strict words, although at the moment unpopular, and apparently disregarded, there is always a time when a father reaps what he has sown…And, this, is a very sweet sensation that is renewed, even more, on such days when the balm of family intimacy repays every effort and parental sacrifice.
But my debt of gratitude, my affection, goes not only to, my family and to the circle of friends and collaborators with whom I share every day: every person who has decided to invest their time listening to me, through my albums, or attending a concert of mine, is a dear friend to whom I am addressing my grateful thoughts. I read every letter I receive (because they all reach me, and I sometimes personally reply) and this is for me a great stimulus and a spiritual enrichment. Every good word is as worthy as the most famous recognition, every encouragement spurs me to improve, to give the whole of myself, when on stage and whenever I have the possibility, I always try to convey positive values, a bit of optimism and, where it is possible of happiness.
The year we are saying farewell to, has taken me, once more, to many countries and to many stages and each of them has given me something new. The year 2014 has also been the starting year for the Italian Celebrity Fight Night, a philanthropic event that has had a resounding success and that will take place also this year, in the month of September, in Florence but also in Rome. The latter is a place, which is in my heart and in the heart of many, because it is the center of gravity of Christianity.
The year 2014 has been a year of great growth and of great challenges also for the Foundation bearing my name…Last week in New York we had very important meetings which we will try to capitalize in the best way possible, because many people trust me and this structure. A trust that, I for one, try to deserve every day.
A few days ago, during a speech at the United Nations, Veronica and I reminded (first of all to ourselves) how Christmas is not only on December 25th, but every day of the year, and how its spirit should guide all of us not to forget our less fortunate brothers…we were thinking of the extraordinary work that in Haiti a special person is carrying on – together with his team, of which ABF is part –: Father Rick Frechette, the priest and doctor who has created the only free pediatric hospital in the island, the Saint Damien, a hospital that today has the dramatic need to be supported because – after the earthquake – it had to quadruple the services giving aid not to 20.00 thousand children a year, as before, but to 80.000.
It is with this intention, it is with the desire to spread this “Christmas spirit” that we perceive in these days, that we are approaching the coming year.
I will welcome 2015 in the United States, but always in constant contact with my beloved Italy, my home country that I always carry in my heart and that holds so many affections, and dear ones. And in Italy I will be back and- once more I will have the honor to represent it –at the EXPO opening ceremony, when all the spotlights in the world will be focused on Milan and on the whole of Italy.
Thanking God, dear diary, the latest technologies allow us increasingly to evade distances. To the point that nonna Edi, from Lajatico, can see her young granddaughter while she is playing in the swimming pool with her little American friends on the other side of the globe.
Also through this sheet that is listening to me, I have the sweet possibility to extend my sweetest thanks to many people near and far.
To all those who have contributed to that living laboratory which is the Foundation (from the president to the neophyte volunteer), to all those who, if not personally, through my voice, I have had the joy of having virtually on my side, I am sending my best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!