When I think of Ben, things like “genuine” and “vibrant” and “easy to talk to” come to mind. He is loved and will not be forgotten.
Photo: April 15, 2018 in Ames, IA (with grandparents, Uncle Jim, Aunt Martha, and myself, his cousin)
Dear Alaskan part of my family,
Yes I know; Alaska and Italy are so far away but Ben, Niki, Leo and Kaya are part of our family since an email which arrived 5 years ago, telling us that Federico would spend a year in Alaska with you.
The worries about our son going to such a faraway place quickly vanished with the first Skype call we had. That moment has been the spark of a relationship that has grown over time; during the wonderful year that Federico spent with you, in which - as he wrote – from a boy he became a man; during the period in which you hosted us for the Christmas holidays when we lived with you as part of your wonderful family; and during your trip to Italy and on hikes we made on the our mountains, the Dolomites.
From the news of the accident, we prayed for Ben and all of you. Now we know that up there in the skies there is someone who will look at us with his inexhaustible and unmistakable smile and making a few jokes with his irony.
Ben is too free a spirit to remain silent and motionless in a hospital bed and has flown away, as he was in his character, as he would have liked.
Now is the time for tears, but also to thank for being lucky enough to meet Ben and all of you.
Niki you must be proud of this and you are as strong to face this moment, as Ben would have liked; Leo and Kaya will have Ben as an example to follow even if he can’t be as close as he was.
Niki, Leo and Kaya, we want you to know that in Italy, even if we are a little far away, there are the Italian's uncles of your family and that when you are part of the same family there is no distance that can stop love.
Leo and Kaya, we are waiting for you to run on the mountains of the Dolomites that have thrilled Ben and Niki so much.
Niki, know that we will always be there for all of you.
Roberto and Stefania with Valentina (Federico's family)
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