Mom and Sis off to Italy tonight!

So jealous, but happy for them too.

Every year my sister and I, or my sister and I and my mother, travel back to Italy to visit relatives. My mother is 81 and her older sister is 83. This year I couldn’t make it and I’m a little bit upset about it.

Their flight leaves in a few hours. By the time I wake up tomorrow they will be sitting in my aunt’s living room recovering from jet lag and catching up.

Last year was my mother’s 80th. To surprise her, her sister, and 6 other people from Italy came here. It was a huge secret and VERY hard to keep. We knew about it for months. They arrived here May 30th and my mother’s birthday was June 9th. They wanted to get here a little earlier so that they wouldn’t be tired for the actual party.

We had our relatives stay with us for 5 weeks. Between my sister and I we split them up and took them around to all the usual sightseeing places around Toronto. One of their “must do” visits was to Algonquin park to see beavers, and moose! They saw moose but were so overcome by mosquitoes that they cut the trip a bit short. Bad timing to go to Algonquin but they had a blast anyway. They canoed at our cottage, went to the McMichael Art Museum to see the Group of Seven paintings, saw a Blue Jay game, went to the Medieval Feast and ate with their hands while watching jousting and laid by our pool. Overall it was a fantastic time.


My cousins trying their hand at canoeing for the first time!




Rosella and the moose.JPG

My cousin seeing a moose for the first time.



I made a video of the surprise of my mother when they came to visit. It was so hard to get her to come to our front door as she always goes through our garage but I came up with a white lie about seeing my new flowers in our front urns. She fell for it!  She was under the impression her sister didn’t care about her birthday as she hadn’t mentioned it at all….and that was all part of the plan!  It was a horrible, miserably cold rainy day and I was just glad that her party was not scheduled for that day.




Boy was she surprised! I was worried she’d have a heart attack. Three years earlier, we surprised her sister in Italy by doing the same thing. We flew over and hid out for 3 days and showed up at her party. How lucky that these 2 sisters who were separated in 1957 when my mother emigrated to Canada, can still spend wonderful times together so many years later. They led very different lives but their bond is so beautiful. I feel this same bond with my own sister.

Here is the video. A lot of Italian speaking going on but the emotion of it is unmistakable. This was a great memory for everyone. My aunt is saying to my mother that she did it to her and now it was her turn to surprise her.
Here’s hoping this trip tonight brings some more wonderful memories for my sister, my mother and my aunt. I just wish I could be there.


About tiesthatbindsite

I'm a genealogist with a passion for Scottish and English ancestry. I'm trilingual so I can also do research in French Canadian records and Italian records. My love for family history began 35 years ago and continues to grow every day. My family is very important to me and I hope to instill in them a love for "where they came from" so that they can better understand who they are. I also want to share my love of family history with anyone who understands how important it is to not lose site of their ancestors. They all have a story to tell.
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3 Responses to Mom and Sis off to Italy tonight!

  1. cassmob says:

    What a great story…brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful that they’ve stayed close over all those decades and distance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, their love for each other is amazing. They argue a lot too but that’s an Italian thing!


  3. fhtess65 says:

    what a wonderful story – and how lovely you have the video as well..


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