Antonio, aka Uncle Tony, was truly one of the worlds special people. Small in stature but by no means small in spirit or love, Uncle Tony was a man of many things.
Uncle Tony was character, he loved a joke, was always making people laugh, and his eyes would light up when he told a story, even if no one was listening. His enthusiasm for imparting details of his time in Italy and Australia was captivating, although in the last couple of years with his failing memory we don't know which part of the stories were truth or imagination. He was a cheeky man with an unmistakable twinkle in his eyes. He had a big heart, which was filled with love for his family but ever so evidently, for his wife, Maria.
The love story was one that could be the base for a Nicholas Sparks novel. Boy migrates to a new country at the tender age of 17, a girl from back home was bought up in conversation. Although back home girl was with another boy that relationship was ending so boy writes to girl, girl writes back, and so the story begins. Back and forth the letters continue until boy asks girl to come to Australia, and she does. The rest is history.
Maria and Tony didn't have an easy life but they had a life filled with love and commitment to each other. A truly remarkable notion which in today's society seems to be unimaginable. Marriage was a choice and one which was for life, a life which for Tony and Maria was a beautiful 62 years.
What I will miss about my Zio Tony is his laugh, his jokes, his gentle nature and the joy evident in his eyes when his family were around him. What gives me comfort with his passing from this world, is he is in heaven with my Nonno. They were the greatest of friends in life and are now together again in death. They will be up there today, watching over us as we farewell Zio Tony and remember him with the utmost fondness and love.
Zio Tony, we vow to take care of Aunty Maria, to help her remember you and the love you both shared. Today will be hard for her but we will be strong together, we will feel your presence with us in the church as we will say our final goodbyes to you, you are truly one of the greats.
Love always Zio Tony, miss you already xx