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A Leap of Faith

Linda Cacaci,

was faced with a decision that would transform my life. should I stay where I am, in the city where I was born and raised, the only place I had every known or to I cut my roots and go to a place I was not familar with. My grandparents did the same when they left their native Italy. I, therefore, followed in their footsteps. It took all the courage that I had and then some.

When a friend of mine relocated to Florida from New York, I decided to take stock of my life.

Daytona Beach, Florida

I was 54 years old, a widow, and disabled - I had a stroke 4 years earlier. I had diabetes and high blood pressure. I worked part time and I used a cane to get around. It was hard in the winter. I used public transportation to get to my job on Long Island. When it’s cold and icy, to get around was not an easy task and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

With no family in Florida, and only a few acquaintances, I had to take a leap of faith, and move. I had no one in New York anyway. There was no family left. My husband and I didn’t have any children, so there was no extended family and I wasn’t that friendly with my in-laws.

I spoke to an acquaintance of mine, who had moved to Florida the previous year. “It’s 80 degrees,” he would tell me proudly during the winter months. “It’s only 5 degrees here with snow flurries and a wind chill factor of -7 degrees,” I would say sheepishly.

I knew I had to move south for my health in order to just survive. The thought of that warm sun kept me going that last winter I was in New York.

I thought back to my ancestors, my grandparents, Joseppina and GiovanniVentura. They left their native homeland to come to the United States. Naples to New York was a very long distance. New York to Florida wasn’t so bad in comparison. They had come here for a better life. That’s what I wanted now. A life where I wouldn’t be cold or slipping on the ice. A place with I could get older with less complications. A simple life.

On the Internet at the library I researched everything, (I didn’t have my own computer at the time). I decided to move to Daytona Beach. I figured anything with the word ‘beach’ in it had to be nice. I made all the arrangements and started a year ahead of time in order to save the money to move. I would also need money to make the deposits for the electric and the telephone services. That all had to be taken into consideration.

Slowly the time passed and the savings grew. I worked out all the details. I found the apartment online with the Pennysaver website. I sent in the deposit by mail. I made the electric and telephone deposits by phone. Everything was in place. I know I’m lucky to be detail-orientated to make sure I took care of all this.

I was terrified. I had lived in New York all my life. I didn’t know anyone in Daytona Beach. What if all this was a big mistake? Would I be able to return back to New York if it didn’t work out? All I knew was that during the winter while I was waiting for buses to get to my destination, my fingers would become numb. I was cold and I had diabetic complications. This was no way to live. I wasn’t even existing. I just wanted to be warm. Was that to much to ask? But during all the times of doubt, I thought of my grandparents. They traveled half way around the world for a better life. They didn’t know what to expect. A new land. A new language. I was only moving cross country. For me, it would be a piece of cake. When I thought of them, I drew strength from their courage. I wasn’t too sure of what I would find when I got down to Florida, but I knew what I was leaving behind. I wanted to enjoy life. I was getting older. It’s either do or die.

I will always be a New Yorker in my heart and in my soul. I also remember New York when I was growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I could never recapture that New York again. But it will be in my treasured memories, no matter what state I live in.

Linda Cacaci
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118


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Nonie, 2009-04-28 03:44:28
A Leap of Faith-- In 1996 at the age of 60 I left my home in Auckland New Zealand and moved to Brisbane Australia. I knew no one except my daughter who had moved across the Tasman a few years earlier. The last 13 years have been marvellous. I have not regrets. I joined an international organisation called Friendship Force through which I have made many friends throughout Australia as well as overseas. Linda I suggest you find your nearest Frienship Force Club I am sure they will make you very welcome.

big Kountry, 2009-01-10 22:18:56
-- I made move from Tx to the state of Washington. Some of my family thought I was crazy for doing it. I failed and had to return to Tx, but I tried.


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