Obituary of Elena Fiorucci
FIORUCCI, Elena (nee Cappelli) - Peacefully passed away with her loving family by her side on
Mom’s Eulogy (Written By Dolorita)
Thank you Father for being here and leading us in special prayer for our mom. Thank you to all of you for being here today to support us during these most difficult days. Words can not express how blessed and appreciative we are for all of our family and friends that have gathered around us the past few weeks. Your outpouring of love, caring, support, and delicious meals to nourish our bodies is appreciated more than words can express. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our sincerest and heartfelt gratitude goes out to mom’s live in caregiver Jeanie, who unfortunately had just left for vacation back to her homeland of the Phillipines for a much needed vacation, just prior to mom taking a turn. The comforts of home all these years would not have been possible without Jeanie’s around the clock caring and compassion for almost 9 years, as well as her weekend caregiver Beth and main PSW Holly who came at least 3 times a day, everyday, along with the many other PSWs provided through LHIN and Paramed for almost the past 18 years! The saying goes “it takes a village”. It sure did! Mom, we come together for you, not to dwell on the many hardships you persevered through the years with all your medical issues, but to celebrate and honour you for the grace in which you lived your life and the fight that you had in you to your very last breath. You’re our energizer bunny! Our mother Elena was born in the small town of Sarnano, Le Marche, Italy on November 30, 1940, in a large close knit family of 4 brothers and 3 sisters. She always claimed that all her health issues from the time she was born were because Nonna Maria had her when she was too old! Despite the ups and downs, Mom was a lady that lived her life with much grace, dignity, had that zest for life, and a woman of many talents and wisdom. At only 17 years old, mom left Italy by sea to reach the shores of Halifax in February of 1958, joining other family members already in Canada. She was ready to accept any challenge that lay ahead. …..first on the agenda, enrolling in night school to learn the English language. She couldn’t figure out why the young men looked at her funny when she was trying to be polite wanting to say “excuse me” , but kept pronouncing it “squeeze me” After holding down several different jobs with Pilliteri Farms, the canning factory, Ridely College and Manor Cleaners, she met and fell in love with our father Armando…which she claimed she played very hard to get with!,,,because she had to be sure HE was the ONE! They married on June 24, 1961, celebrating 52 years of marriage before his passing in January 2013. Soon her passion for sewing emerged becoming one of St. Catharines most sought-after seamstresses. This enabled her to be a stay at home mom to Gino and I. Many days and nights were spent in the basement sewing room until wee hours of the morning meticulously creating one of kinds for her growing list of clients (when she also learned to speak Polish!), but always managed to have a hot breakfast ready for dad to leave for work by 6am with a huge fresh lunch in hand and hot meal for when he returned. Endless number of dresses, suits, 100’s of full wedding parties, bridesmaid dresses, mothers of the bride, guests, wedding dresses made for many of her own nieces and others….my wedding dress included, a true labour of love. Later making christening suits for Derek and Craig with the leftover material. Not to mention the luggage full of barbie clothes made out of scraps of the finest leftover materials from customer orders,,,because the ones I would beg for her to buy at Towers or Woolco were too expensive and cheaply made! Nothing went wasted. As busy as she was with her home business during the day, she would sew all night so I could wake up to a new outfit for every picture day in elementary school. Let’s not forget altering all the husky sized clothes to fit perfectly that Gino needed because he was so chubby! So blessed that mom was able to pass her sewing skills on to me. We spent many a summer vacation sewing up a storm at our respective sewing machines in the family room, getting me hooked to listening and watching to young and the restless in the background, which I still watch to this day! She just loved Mrs. Chancellor! After many years of sewing, she took a short hiatus to pursue another passion, Cooking! She helped out at Club Roma as lead cook. After about a year or so, she decided to step down for our father’s sake….he missed her too much, didn’t like that she was away from him all weekend, every weekend, returning home so late at night…plus the fact that she wasn’t at home cooking for him! Back to sewing she went. Going to church as a family every Sunday morning was a must for both my mom and dad. Their deep faith and mom’s commitment to serving as a eucharistic minister for many years was very special and important to her…and then hurrying home to start a fresh pot of sugo and meatballs for potential family or friends that may pop in for a visit and stay for dinner. Sundays were also very special days back in the day reserved for visits with family and friends. Mom, the youngest of her siblings, always so young at heart, loved by her nieces and nephews, would always want to hang out with them rather than her own siblings. Her siblings would wonder where she was…Mom would say that the adults were boring, the young ones were more fun and they would always teach her things. Mom would spend many hours on the phone with her nieces talking about everything and anything! WINK WINK Despite minimal formal schooling in Italy, mom was a very smart and creative lady. They scrimped and saved, frugal as all heck, living a comfortable humble life always providing the best for Gino and I. She looked after all the investments…if not for her, dad would have stashed all his cash in secret hiding spots in the basement rafters, cause you know, the government will take it all! Mom and dad were blessed to live right next door to our Zia Rosina for over 47 years, divided only by a chain link fence. Zia Rosina being 13 years mom’s senior, they grew up with more of a special mother daughter relationship. Mom working hard in her basement, Zia working hard in her garden. Almost everyday, mom would go outside to the back, with a tray of fresh coffee and cookies in hand, calling out Roozi, come and take a coffee break with me. Gino enjoyed countless hours playing with his many many LEGO sets in his younger years, but didn’t like tidying up after himself all too much and would run off to do something else. After repeated warnings from mom to clean it up, when he wasn’t looking, mom would gather them all up into a big garbage bag and hoof and scatter it all over the back patio! That would teach him a lesson to listen next time. He would spend hours finding each last one, big crocodile tears streaming down his face the whole time. Mom would go out of her mind with worry for Gino’s health during high school spring rowing training and football season in the fall. He would starve himself to lose weight for rowing and then have to bulk up in the fall for football season eating a loaf of bread a day….saying…”whatta you doing, You gonna have a heart attack!” The endless phone calls to the house from the girls in school…my mom imitating…”Is Gino there? She would politely reply NO and please don’t call again. You can talk to him at school! Breaking curfew was a common theme for Gino. Mom would sit and wait in the dark, in the living room, which was off the side door entrance that, in the wee hours of the morning, wooden spoon in hand waiting to pounce. Gino and I always fought over our rightful spot on the living room couch. We had this invisible line down the middle. Gino took great pleasure in crossing that line and instigating annoying playful kicking matches. I wasn’t a fighter! That would escalate into me shouting at the top of my lungs STOP GINO, STOP while he just laughs and eggs me on. Mom would be working away in the basement patiently listening to all of this and yelling up JUST KICK HIM BACK. Driving her crazy, she would march upstairs, and we would both get it…even though Gino started it!! There was much joy and excitement when mom took Gino and I to Italy after my university graduation in 1983, with our dear Zio Peppe in toe, whom we lost just a couple of weeks ago. Great fun and laughs. This was mom’s one and only time back since immigrating to Canada (dad wouldn’t go, he would never leave his supersized garden in the growing season!) she took great joy reminiscing about her childhood and bringing us to the very home she was born in. Very special times. Mom excitedly but hesitantly sent me off to the University of Waterloo at the age 17. She would come visit me…back in the day, it was a 3 hour bus ride, with many stops along the way, arriving at my door step with a pot of sauce in one hand and meatballs in the other for me to share with my roommates. When the bus driver would help her off the bus, he would ask Mam, would do you have there that are so heavy. She replied with “oh nothing, just my pet rocks”! University was where I met my husband Warren. He was welcomed into the family immediately and transformed from mangia cake and ITALIANIZED from the get go! Teaching him how to make fresh sausage was too funny…mom showing him how to blow open “real” casings with her lips, grossing her out each time is one of his many fondest memories. Mom cherished her only 2 grandchildren Derek and Craig, and lets not forget Peppy, their cousin! Warren travelled for work a lot when they were younger, so many road trips to nonno and nonna’s house, with many sleepovers and strolls through their huge garden sampling the many fruits of their labour that they were so proud of. Always trying to get the boys to eat a fresh fig…mom biting into one and licking her lips…uuummmmmm and they just wouldn’t have any part it! They still haven’t tried a fig to this day! Every time nonno and nonna would visit us, nonna would secretly pass each of them a loonie or toonie for their piggy banks and say ssssshhhhh, don’t tell nonno! For my sister in law Cathy….you joined our family when mom was no longer able to verbally and physically express herself. We know that through our many family gatherings and story telling, you too can cherish the true Elena in your heart right along with us. You can trust that she welcomed you into our family with open arms and tanti bacci and she knows that you will always love and take care of Gino the way she would! Thank you for letting me share just some of our fondest cherished memories with you all. Mom, you are best mom Gino and I could ever have. Our love for you is immeasurable and every day when we think of you, it will always put a smile on all of our hearts. You are now at peace and free of pain to be your true self….and reunited with dad, making fresh pasta for him I’m sure as we speak! Can’t wait to talk with you and hug you in my dreams and be reunited some day!
If flowers grow in heaven, Lord, then pick a bunch for me. Then place them in our mother’s arms And tell her they are from me. Tell her that I love and miss her And when she turns to smile, Place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for a while.
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