My Corner, Your Corner: The more you grow, the more you lose

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio | October 9th, 2015 1:50 pm

There comes a time in life when things change — and that can be a bummer.

While you’re growing up, everything seems to be the same, except people around you are growing older. You grow from a toddler to a teenager and, with the exception of tragedy, have your entire family intact.

Family parties are great when grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles are alive. Those are some of the best early memories.

In my family, birthdays and holidays were always so much fun. There’s nothing like having the love of family. Unfortunately, most of us take that for granted more often than not.

That love sometimes extends to neighbors and family friends — people you see day-in and day-out for a good part of your life until you’re out of your teen years.

Birthdays were a blast when I was young. I got to invite friends to my party and then all the relatives would arrive and the next thing I knew, there were at least a million people at the party. There was plenty of homemade food, as well.

Mom usually cooked up a storm before any party or holiday. Again, when you’re in the moment, you take everything for granted. It’s like living in an isolated bubble but it’s a really great time.

As we get older, events happen and our lives change. Perhaps an older brother or sister goes away to college or as in our family, a brother joins the service and life becomes a little empty.

Eventually, great-uncles and great-aunts, along with beloved grandparents, pass away. Things change.

I can recall a few years in my teens when I lost elder relatives at an alarming rate. Life as I knew it took a different path.

I was, however, fortunate enough to have two of my grandparents live into their 90s with my father’s dad living to nearly three weeks shy of his 95th birthday. My grandfather Callaio was a great guy. As a longtime family friend told me this week, “Your grandfather was a kind man.” Louie Vullo hit the nail on the head when he uttered those words.

I learned so much from my grandfather — not only how to change a tire and motor oil but about life in general. I find myself quoting him on many occasions. How lucky was I to have a grandparent into my mid-40s?

This past week, another piece of my childhood was lost as one of my mom’s best friends, Rose Pelleschi, passed away after a brief stay in the hospital.

Rose was a unique woman who had an interesting life. She lived in Mexico for nearly 30 years working for a missionary priest from Italy. She worked alongside Fr. Lino Gussoni with the poorest of poor helping build meat-processing plants as well as creating irrigation and water systems so the Mexican people could be self-sustaining.

My mom and dad made a trip to Mexico in 1968 and were fortunate to see some of the Summer Olympics events in Mexico City. Ironically, I recently came across photos of their visit and intended to show them to Rose in the near future.

We were lucky to see Rose once, maybe twice a year, as she travelled back to Greater Pittston to see her family. She was a beautiful woman with movie star qualities.

Tomorrow is my mom’s 88th birthday. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news. Mom suffers from dementia and some days confuses me with her late brother. I’m not sure telling her of Rose’s passing would make sense to her.

As things have now changed for the Pelleschi family, I offer my most sincere condolences to them.

Quote of the week

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon, English singer, songwriter.

Thought of the week

“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” – Victoria Holt, English author.

Bumper sticker

“We loved with love that was more than love.” – Edgar Allan Poe, American poet.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at