In Memory of Clara

by Lucia Micito

Good, discreet, of few words, always ready to say the right word to the people she spoke to.

My friends had been asking me for a while to write something in Vedere Oltre about my "good sister", Dr. Clara Capiluppi.
I first refused: I didn't think I was the right person to write in a high profile magazine for people who are professionals and specialized, but the loving insistence of friends won me over. After her premature passage, almost a year ago now, I dare to try: trying is not binding.
Clara, my girlfriend and "sister" who shared my life for over thirty years, was not my assistant. She had not decided to take charge of only one person who, with the years going by, increased her physical disability - I am now 80 years old - when she met me I was not yet 50.
Clara heard a call: the call to fully share all the projects in my life. In all truthfulness, since I was young I felt that I had to spend all my energy towards my brothers in darkness and that my specific purpose was to produce Braille documents for prayer and to organize summer vacations.
Clara, who earned her degree in physics and who was a researcher at the Department of Physics at the University of Bologna also had technical skills. So, she added to my projects her ability and creativity to help, in a school environment, children and teenagers who live with vision loss.
She brilliantly dealt with educational issues: she learned Braille, and she studied specific mathematical signs as well as the most appropriate ways to create very complicated geometrical shapes in raised lines, which I could not begin to understand, despite her repeated efforts.Picture of Clara Capiluppi
Clara studied the Greek alphabet in Braille; she was responsible of the transcription of the English Braille, gaining such ability that specialized teachers working with children who live with vision loss, valued her deeply, considering her like a trusted advisor. At the St. Giacomo printer, which she headed, requests came in for the transcription of educational books for every school levels, from elementary to high school, even to university. What is there to say? My "good sister", as I like to call her, left us on October 1, 2006 leaving a gap that cannot be filled not only for me, but for everyone who has ever met her. She also left an unbridgeable gap in relationship to the requests submitted to the St. Giacomo printer. Until two years ago, the work was considerable and the product was regarded as having one of the best quality among the various printers.
Today, everything has changed and there is only hope to be able to find a safe road to honour her memory, even in this area, with the help of people able to give an invigorating turn to the whole activity of Braille transcription and printing.
I feel that this short comment inadequately answers what was asked of me, but I cannot do more. I only know this: let us not forget Clara, this good, discreet person of few words, who was always ready to say the right thing to anyone she would speak to.
It seemed to me that she never spoke, but now I realize that everyone has something to say or remember about her, and I listen in astonishment, thinking what a great gift God gave me to have her enrich my life.
“God gives, God takes away, bless the name of God,” said Job. Easy to say, I repeat it to myself every day and I ask that He please give an efficacious grace.