Francesco was a stoic man of few words. And if anyone knew him, then they would know just how accurate that statement is. He was brought up in a society that is very different from the one we live in today. Francesco was brought up in a generation and to a society that believed in suppressing any emotions, especially for men, and to work hard, day in and day out, to support your family.
He did just that; he rarely showed his emotions in words or expressions of love, but he showed his love in the decades of hard work and sacrifices he made in his own life to better the lives of his wife, Ivana, and his two children, Lisa and Lucy, or to him, Elisabetta and Lucia. Nowadays, many people think anything more than 30 minutes is a long commute to get to work, but Francesco for many many years commuted THREE hours to get to work. That means that after a full 12 hour day of work, he faced yet another THREE hours to get back home. He had enough time to simply eat, shower, sleep for a few hours, and then do it all over again the next day. If that doesn't show his undying and unconditional love, I don't know what does; what Francesco did, not many people could physically endure for that long, and it is amazing to see how long he lived that life.
Speaking of fighting, it is important for everyone to know that Francesco's natural physical strength was incredible. Everyone who has been in his life will be able to attest to that. In his older age, this man could put men in their 30s and 40s to shame. All those years of physical labor gave this man muscles in this 60, 70s, and for a large part of his 80s. Anyone that knew him also knew that Francesco NEVER. SAT. DOWN. Actually, he did; for meals and his 20 minute TV time after meals. Oh, and to sleep. Other than that, he would be walking, hands behind his back, either around the house checking the blinds, looking out the windows, OR, he was walking around outside up and down the street dozens of times in one day.
If you were one of the lucky neighbors, Francesco would walk right on over and grace your property, walking around innocently - either just to mosey through your backyard or to just start fixing garbage cans or cleaning something. Sometimes, if you were REALLY lucky, you could also hear Francesco singing to be what always sounded like some opera in Italian. That was him in a nutshell; after so many years of hard work, he could not help but do whatever his heart wanted. Even if it was not his own property, he would just try to tidy or fix things. And that was the truly lovable thing about him and the thing that most people will always cherish about him.
Now - let's talk about the relationship with his wife. If anyone knew them both, they'd be laughing just about now. They had this old school type of love hate relationship. Together for a lifetime and then some, they married at a young age, and from then on, made a life and had kids - bickering every step along the way. They lived a hard life together; they both hustled for years on end until they retired and got a chance to breathe a little and enjoy their grandkids.
Francesco also loved egging his wife on; he would try to sneak an extra little swig of his red wine, making her blood boil …. his constant walking around would drive her bananas, he snuck little bites of food before a holiday, and always managed to laugh when she would yell at him, making her EVEN. MORE. MAD.
Despite aggravating each other, they had a love that is rare in our world today.
When she passed a little over one year ago, Francesco was forever changed, and his family knew that it was just a matter of time for him in this life. His wife was his whole world for decades, a lifetime even. Losing her was just as good as losing everything in his life. Except, the worst part for him was that he still had to continue living on. This past year without her, he really did fight to the very end, but anyone around him could see his rapid deterioration. He simply was losing the will to live here, not because he didn't want to be around the rest of his family, but because his life was elsewhere now; it was no longer in this world. He lived almost his entire life with his wife, and now she was no longer here. So, in the end, he was finally reunited with her. If you knew his wife Ivana, you would also know that she is likely cursing us all out because now she needs to continue watching after him in heaven. And you would also know that part of her up in heaven is so relieved that she can have him by her side again, because this is just how their dynamic worked for many years. If he wasn't by her side and she wasn't able to watch him, she was restless and anxious.
So to Francesco, or to his family better known as Papa or Nonno: leave this life peacefully and know that you were so so very loved and appreciated. We will all miss you tremendously. Go find your wife and give her the biggest hug from all of her family. Eat all the food and drink all the wine you ever wanted; you deserve it.
We love and miss you beyond words.
You will never leave our hearts.