Remembering My Mother
Eleanor Lorraine Sulli
Beloved Mother, Grandmother,
Great-Grandmother, Wife, Sister, Aunt and Friend
My mother was born Eleanor Parlato on September 22, 1922,
in San Jose California. She was the natural daughter of
Italian immigrants, Teresa Di Simone & Ecalano Donati,
but was raised by Teresa & her husband, Frank Parlato.
She had 5 brothers, Vincent, Andy, Peter, John, Gene,
and 4 sisters, Adeline, Emily, Rose and Margie.
Mom grew up in the downtown neighborhood of San Jose.
She attended Peter Burnett Grammar School, Roosevelt Jr. High
and graduated from San Jose High School in Downtown S.J.
She met my father, Emil Sulli, on a blind date in high school
& they married on Aug 5, 1944, after his return from world war II.
Elie gave birth to 4 children... Myself, Cathy, John and Nick.
She has 8 grandchildren, Jerry, Rick, Rob, Johanna, Davina,
Becky, Chelsea, Shawn... & 3 great-grandchildren,
Mikey, Teresa & Chelsea.
The Sulli family lived in San Jose for almost 25 years
before moving to Carson City Nevada in 1968.
My mom & sister Cathy operated Buy- the-Chunk Deli
while Dad ran a food warehouse with my brother Nick.
Besides raising us, my mother was a loving caretaker
to her 8 grandchildren along with many nieces, nephews
& other children that needed love & care over the years.
After selling her Deli Business, Mom stayed home full time to
take care of family while Dad managed the local Thrift Shop
& took breaks to hunt & fish until his sudden death in 2001
at the age of 80. They were married for almost 57 years
Mom loved to dance, sing, play piano, cook, bake, talk, write,
watch old movies & celebrate life by having friends & family
in her home as often as possible. She was a loyal & devoted wife,
mother, grandmother, aunt & friend, but most of all, a gentle lover
and protector of babies & young children, and her inner goodness,
humor & charisma will never be forgotten by those that knew her.
Mom returned to the arms of the Great Mother on October 5, 2010.
She was 88 years old & died peacefully in the Evergreen Rest Home
in Carson City with her granddaughter Becky close by her side.
She will be greatly missed by all of us.
|Her Younger Years
|Mom & Dad...
Thank You for all the good times... the triumphs, the struggles...
the joy as well as the sorrow.... the laughter as well as the tears...
for the bonds that held us together because you both held it together.
You will live on in our minds, hearts and souls... forever!
I am writing to tell you how much I love and appreciate everything you have ever done for me in my life.
You were the only one that was there for me through thick and thin. I know that I was somewhat of a pain
through my teenage years, and that I probably put your through some turmoil, but you still stuck by me every
step of the way. Now that I'm an adult, I realize how grateful I am for having you and Grandpa raise me.
I know that was what my Mom, Kathy, wanted. She wanted me to be with someone she trusted, and
that was you, and you did a darn good job of it too. In a lot of ways, I am the spitting image of you.
Michael always tells me that. Micheal loves you very much too. He says you remind him of
his Italian grandma that is no longer here. You are very special to him too.
Grandma, you have lived a very long and fulfilled life. I know that you are tired.
I can't blame you for feeling that way. I want you to know that it's OK if you are ready.
Mike and I are going to be just fine. We have started a new legacy in our life.
I don't want you to suffer & want you to be at peace. That is all I have ever wanted for you.
So, if you are ready to go, it's OK. I promise you that we will all see that Johnny is fully taken care of.
He needs all of us and we will see that he gets what is best for him. All of us are getting along better now.
No more fighting. We are coming together again, and I know that's what you wanted.
I will always love you and you will always be my mother figure. I knew you will look down upon me,
along with Grandpa and my mom Kathy, and be proud. I love you grandma.
Becky & Mike
Like the Great Mother Goddess....
You carried the seed that bloomed into
the life of each one of us & with a generous
heart wrapped us in the warmth of your love.
You saw to it that each one of us was nurtured,
fed, nursed, caressed, cared for & protected.
Your strong presence was the hub of our family,
Your love was the glue that held us together,
Your strength, the cornerstone of our lives...
Your tireless faith, key to your determination
and comforting grace that flooded our lives.
You saw the world thru compassionate eyes
& sacred wisdom gained through the years.
You helped many of us thru the rough times
with support, conversation & friendly humor.
You showed us courage in the face of difficulty,
kindness & charity; devotion & responsibility,
fortitude in times of grief, sadness & sorrow.
You were willing to listen, to care, to share,
& never too busy to lend an ear or a hand.
Your warm & graceful hospitality was offered
to every soul who came through our door,
and you taught us humility along with
respect & generosity for others in need.
Your gentle mannerisms, tender ways,
sweet smile, delight of fun and laughter,
showed me a genuine spirit of friendship
tolerance, forgiveness & harmony that will be
remembered by all who's lives you touched.
I was blessed to have you as my mother and
will deeply miss your warm presence in my life.
Thank you for giving me the gift of life...
for having faith & never giving up on me,
for helping me become the woman I am today.
I am what I am because of you.
With love & gratitude... JoAnna
Dear Aunt Elie....
It has been a long time since I have seen or spoken to you.
I always continue to remember you and your kindness to me.
I was very sad to hear you're not doing well.
I want you to know that I will always be grateful to you for taking
such good care of me at your Willow Street home when I was growing up.
Also, I appreciated the wonderful letter of advice you to sent to me when
I was living with Auntie Adeline. I want you to know that I love you and
I am sad that you have not been feeling well for such a long time.
I cannot come to see you but I want you to know that I have
always loved you. I have always admired you and your deep
strength to get through all the challenges in your life.
Please know I will always remember you and how full of fun you are.
I remember you and my mom showing me how to dance the hula.
Also, we would just dance any dance that was fun. Your pasta sauce
was so good and I loved the cannoli's you made. I have never tasted
a better cannoli that the ones you made so well. I also remember your
gentle ways and how you taught me to understand how to treat everyone
with respect. Each of my aunts and uncles did that throughout their lives.
I remember going to St Clare's Mission and kneeling on the hard floor.
Your devotion to prayer gave me a deep regard for prayer,
even though I must admit I really never liked kneeling on that hard floor.
Today I am a grandma and have 5 grandchildren.
I remember how caring you were with each of your children
and I know they all love you very much.
I also want you to know that I will always remember you Aunt Elie.
I hope you can come through yet another challenge in your life
and laugh and dance and sing again.
With all my love... Teddie
You have no idea how heartbroken I am to hear of your illness. Please know you are constantly in my thoughts & prayers.
I've really missed you over the years. My very first memories as a baby are of you feeding me an entire T-Bone Steak.
I believe I was 1 year old. It's ironic now because I no longer eat meat. Yes, it's true. I'm a vegetarian.
Please don't disown me. I promise I can still taste all of the great salami's and cheeses from my childhood.
From the moment you fed me that steak, you spoiled me for all others with your amazing cooking. As you may know,
I am now a pretty good chef myself, thanks to the early training I received by watching you and my mom in the kitchen.
Growing up with all that love and good food will always be my fondest life memories. Whenever we had parties, I could
always count on an endless supply of cold cuts from your house. The greatest times of joy and happiness for me as a boy
were with you, uncle Emil, Kathy, Johnny and Nicky. The good times we all had! How I miss them.
You'll be happy to know I'm doing well. I live in New York and work in my chosen field of the arts.
I run a dance company in Manhattan called Elisa Monte Dance. She's a sassy New Yorker & reminds me of you.
She too is Italian so I feel right at home here in the office which is just two blocks away from the Empire State Building
and Macy's Herald Square where they have the big Thanksgiving Day Parade every year.
I've been in the arts for over 30 years now and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. I can remember you tap dancing
in the kitchen when we were kids and this is probably one of the reasons I got into show business in the first place.
Hey, did I every tell you that as a child you reminded me of Judy Garland? Well, you did. You looked just like her.
Uncle Andy reminded me of Ray Bolgier. I'm telling you, I grew up with the cast from Wizard of Oz as my aunts & uncles.
I think it's safe to say that Auntie Vi was the Wicked Witch of the West, but don't quote me. hee hee. Just kidding.
But seriously, growing up our lives were filled with music and laughter. And whenever I smell a bar of Dove soap,
I think of your warm and welcoming home. One of the many wonderful memories I share with everyone I meet are
the times we all gathered at your house in Willow Glen and later in Carson City for parties and sleep overs.
I remember as far back as Willow Street, where I stayed many a day and night because I refused to go to nursery school.
Mom and Dad had no choice but to bring me to you and boy am I glad they did. Johnny and Nicky and I had a blast.
I never wanted to leave your house. The other stories I love to tell are the three to four hour phone calls between
you and my mom. Those are certainly legendary and will be talked about from generation to generation.
You can count on it.
I'm not sure if I ever thanked you for all you've done for me and how your love and strength have shaped my life in a
loving & compassionate way. Thank you for teaching me how much fun life can be & how important it is to be tolerant.
You are truly an inspiration to me and I will never forget you. Have no fear. We are all keeping in touch with your
progress because we are all confident you're going to make a speedy recovery. Just make sure you try and eat
and drink a little everyday. I have to tell mom the same thing. She doesn't eat either. You two sisters are so beautiful
and yet so stubborn but I wouldn't have either of you any other way. Now I know where I get it from.
Love, love, love, love, love you! And I love you very, very, much.
Your nephew and Godson...
We think about you every day. You are in our
hearts and prayers. We have fond memories
and will never forget you.
Love and kisses, Deb & Al
Miss you and love you very much.
I think about you and us all the time.
Love Margie & Art
|Dear Mom..... Wishing you laughter and comfort, family and friends, surprises and memories...
We all love you very much.... Nick, Teri, Shawn, Chelsea and Mike
Hi Elie... Sending you a special reminder of just what a special person you are.....
Seems like such a long time since we have seen each other.... I love you and miss you..... Lee Guerra
For in the depth of our hopes & desires lies our silent mystery of the beyond...
and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow, our hearts dream of spring.
Trust the dreams.... for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind & to melt in the Sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides
that it may rise and expand and seek the Great Mystery unencumbered?
Only when we drink from the river of silence, shall we indeed sing,
And when we reach the mountain top, then we shall begin to climb...
And when the Earth claims our limbs, then we shall truly dance!
~ The Prophet ~
|May the Earth carry the memory of your goodness in both thought & deed...
May the winds carry your spirit to the resting place of eternal bliss,
May your soul be cleansed & refreshed in healing waters of the afterlife...
May the sunlight of the spirit guide you safely on your new path...
May your loved ones who went before you welcome you home...