As she aged, she continued to instill her belief and faith in her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She was, and will continue to be our role model. Whenever I wasn't in school, she would encourage me to pray the Hail Mary with her every weekday morning at 10:30 as she watched the televised program of the ROSARY in French from Lourdes, France.
Her daily routine the last several years as her health declined was to spend her day either reading her countless religious books (we can start a mini library of the number of religious books she has on the various saints and popes ), watching TV and at times helping my mother cook.
She had a very strict TV schedule, she watched the 10:30 a.m. Rosary, the daily mass at 11:00 a.m. , would break for lunch, and at 1 o'clock watch the Italian soap opera, followed by her reading one of her many holy books or the Bible, and again say the rosary. At 5 o'clock her and I would watch Family Feud together, after dinner her and my mom watched Jeopardy, the Wheel of Fortune, and then would end her day with the evening Italian news and Che Posta Per Te.
She was a great cook, constantly encouraging us to mangia even after we pleaded that we were no longer hungry. Everyone commented on her sugo, pasta and meatballs. I have never met one person who did not like her signature meatballs. Every time her Children, Grandchildren and Great-grand children came to visit she made sure that the meal of the day was her pasta with sugo and her famous meatballs.
All of my family have been blessed to have her as a mother, Nonna and bis-Nonna. She gave us love, even when we were bad, she inspired us, showed us how to be humble and taught us to have faith in God.
Nonna you taught me many things, such as how to braid my hair, always laughed with me and you remembered our secret hand shake up until the very last day. Even at golden age of 90 years old, you were the strongest person we know, even during the last 2 1/2 weeks in the hospital you were a fighter, however God knew your time with us was over, and he slowly took you away. We know that you and Nonno Angelo are together again in Heaven. Both of you pray for us and watch over all of us . We will miss you deeply, never forget you and carry you in our hearts forever. Not only will you always be my NONNA you will always be my best friend.
TI VOGLIO BENE PER SEMPRE
Good Morning everyone and thank you Father Gasperini, family and Friends who are here with us today to celebrate with us the passing of our beloved Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. My name is Christopher one of Nonna's grandsons and myself and her granddaughter Christina would like to say a few words.
Nonna was born on November 23, 1923 in Serra San Bruno, Calabria. She came from a family of four sisters and two brothers. Nonna married her only love Angelo after ten years of engagement due to the fact that Nonno served and was a prisoner of war in World War 2.
They had 3 children, Mary Teresa, Joe and Ralph. As well she was blessed to have 7 wonderful grandchildren; Jason, Lisa, Christopher, Joseph, Adam, Christina and Alexandra and 6 great grandchildren; Allyson, Alexis, Lucas, Ava, Avery and Georgia who all loved her very much. Her famous words to all of us were 'Bello di la Nonna or Bella di la Nonna'. And she always loved putting her grandchildren and great-grandchildren on her lap to bounce them up and down, while singing 'Batte Lei Manini'.
In September 1958, as a family, they immigrated to Canada to begin a better life. Nonna left behind her parents and two sisters. During those early years in Toronto as all new immigrants it was very difficult to make ends meet, so Nonna after several weeks in Canada, set off to work in a factory as a seamstress earning 35 cents an hour, equivalent to today's minimum wage.
During this time her and Nonno had many hardships, having to make many sacrifices to raise their 3 children. When they seemed to be making some progress in their lives, health issues came about and on December 4, 1978, Nonno died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Nonna was left to support and be the head of her family.
Nonna was always a strong person she had great faith in God and was a devoted and dedicated Catholic. Her desire was always to visit Holy places and together with her daughter Mary Teresa did exactly that. They traveled to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes and many places in Italy such a Santa Rita who she prayed to daily, Saint Francis of Assisi, and the list goes on on . In fact, they were the first group of pilgrims to visit Majagoria .
Because of her strong faith she was part of the “Group of Pregiere” or Prayer Group at St. Bernard's Church. She volunteered along with her friend Carmelina to look after the alter. After every Saturday Morning Mass they would clean, dust and change the alter table clothes, and prepare the alter for whatever service was going to be held that particular day. As well, every year they were very proud to prepare the small TABERNACLE at the side of the main alter for the HOLY THURSDAY CELEBRATION
Diane, Ralph & family,
May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you.
Peace, Prayers and Blessings.
Mary, I was glancing through the obituaries for information on another friend and came across the notice regarding your mother. I'm very sorry for your loss. I know how close you were. I hope she didn't suffer too long. I have lost both my parents and my in-laws. I lost them several years ago, but a day doesn't go by that I don't think of them. At first it was about the sense of loss and now it's about who they were. How we became who we are today. Mary, I regret we lost touch. I'm now living in Woodbridge, closer to my brother and sister. We are a small family but very close.
My sincerest condolences to you and your family. Feel free to contact me.
A note about my Dearest Mother-in-law, I met my mother-in-law 39 years ago but was honoured when I became her Daughter-in-law 25 years ago. Through marriage she became my mother-in-law through Love she became my Mother in Heart, and though I never called her "Mother" in my heart I hoped she knew. Still I pray that you can see that you have been my "Other Mother" and forever shall you be! My Mother-in-law was a gift from God, a woman with so much patience, respect and love. She was kind and gentle but had great strength. I am so proud to have been a part of her life, through the ups and downs (and yes in the past 25 years there have been a few of those) she was never critical of me and always loved and supported me. I want to thank her for loving me like her own and know that I was truly blessed out of all the Mother-in-laws I could have had I know that I had the best. My Mother-in-laws wishes as I believe them to be is to grow old carrying no judgement upon each other, to leave resentment behind and to love, understand and respect one another. My hope to all of us who loved her is to remember these wishes and by doing so we will honour and cherish her memory forever. I am glad that I had the time to say good-bye and to have told her I loved her and Christina for that I will be forever grateful to you, Nonna was so proud of you! My promise to you is when we meet again I will attempt to learn Italian (at least a couple of words) and I will attempt to learn to cook half as good as you did! For being my husbands Mother, my childrens Nonna and for loving my precious Abby & Taya as your own I am eternally grateful. My respect for you is no different than your love for me. Rest Peacefully , All My Love Diana