Almost 55 years ago a young couple, both 18 years old married in the tiny village of Guardialfiera, Campobasso, in Italy. This is my mother in law Emilia and my father in law Antonio.
They travelled to Belgium, France and then Germany to find work, and raised two sons before settling here in Canada.
I met them for the first time when I was only 19 years old, which is 33 years ago almost. They welcomed me with open arms and have always been so good to me. My father in law was a quiet, hard working man. He had a passion for his vegetable garden, he even raised 3 Fig trees from seedlings, yep, right here in Ontario, and they were sooooooo good. He built a special greenhouse for them during our bitter cold winters. He worked outside all day in his back garden during the summers after he retired, and they would play Bocci in the evenings at the club.
Antonio had no idea that he was infected with Hepatitis until he didn't feel well around 7 years ago. The specialist diagnosed him with slorosis of the liver and treated him, eventually they found cancer. He lost his older sister to the same disease, and then his closest brother. He has a living sister with hepatitis and liver damage too and one brother with no signs yet. Shocking yes.
We discovered that all of them were infected during childbirth or that's the only explanation doctors could find, seeing that their mother also died from liver disease.
My father in law was still able to sit up sometimes and able to talk to the many , many visitors he had this day last week, then he took a turn for the worse. He passed away early last Thursday morning December 10th, at the age of 73 , and we are all so grateful that he went fast and didn't have to suffer in pain too long.
It's been a very emotional week, we are all exhausted, emotionally and physically. It has been heart wrenching to see his wife left behind, she is in so much pain, but I know they say with time the pain will lessen, so I hope so. Just as Antonio did, she has many who love her, and so many friends and wonderful neighbors, she has me, and her two sons and we will be beside her all the way. Thankfully my brother in law is living with her right now so she has someone to cook dinner for, someone to take care of, because that's what she does. The typical Italian mom :)
The photo above was taken September at a family wedding. Antonio had his last dance with his wife that night, and it was the last time he felt well enough to go to any functions.
I want to thank you all so very, very much for all of your concern, your thoughts and your prayers. They have been such a comfort for me personally and I know they went out to Antonio too. There are some of you my friends, also going through a very hard time right now because you have lost a loved one , and I am praying that God will send his healing power of Grace to you, now and forever.
Blessings and much love,