Strong but loving, a maternal tradition

WAG wellness guru Giovanni Roselli has a special place in his heart for mom Mary Louise Roselli and grandma Rose Tota: “My mother and grandmother raised me and my sisters “old school” – tough when necessary, understanding when needed and loving always. This in addition to being supportive and loving spouses to my father and grandfather always.”

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while but their hearts forever.” — Unknown 

There was a situation going on a few years back with our family and everyone was emotional about it to the point of tears. However, I remember my mom being the only one who wasn’t crying. Her response: “Someone has to be the strong one.” And that’s exactly who she is. And where did she get it from? Her mother, of course — my grandmother Rose Tota. I had a very close relationship with my grandmother, and she passed along all her amazing traits to her daughter, which in turn always made me very close to both of them.  

A lot of people would often see everyone in my family take such good care of my grandmother and have so much respect and love for her that they would ask her, “How do you get everyone to take such good care of you all time?” Her answer was easy, “Because I took really good care of them.”  

My mother and grandmother raised me and my sisters “old school” — tough when necessary, understanding when needed and loving always. This in addition to being supportive and loving spouses to my father and grandfather always.  

She can do It all

My mother is the type of person who never complains — about anything. Whether she is feeling under the weather, frustrated with one of her children or just simply tired and exhausted, you would never know the difference. My mother wouldn’t be the one who reaches out for help. She would always be the one who was helping everyone else. A family member going in for some type of surgery or procedure? She is always the calmest one, even if it was her going in for the procedure. Posting a social media rant? My mother doesn’t even have an email address and just graduated from a flip phone. She doesn’t have time for that nonsense, nor does it demonstrate a beneficial example.     

For years she would be the bookkeeper for my father and uncle’s gas station and auto mechanic business, while raising three children, driving everyone around where he or she needed to go, having a home cooked meal on the table every night, keeping the house tidy and still, of course, taking care of her mother. She leads by example. She never needs to ask for respect or look for attention. She’s earned it just by being herself. 

Mom knows best

Looking back on my life up to this point, the expression “mom knows best” really does ring true to me. She wasn’t just there to support me, raise me and love me. She taught me early on about important life skills, such as how to manage and save money. At the time, it really didn’t seem too important as to why I was opening up a retirement account when I was a teenager. Well, looking back now I’m glad she did. Coming as no surprise, I immediately opened up a college fund 529 plan for my daughter when she was born and many gifts she’s been given has been in for the form of stocks. 

While it’s fun getting some toys and games as a kid, it wasn’t much fun getting stocks and bonds as gifts when I was young. That’s until you become an adult and realize that the stock you received goes a lot further than the video game. Yes, I truly understand the expression, “You’ll appreciate and understand this when you get older.”  

The rock of the family

My Uncle Charlie, my mom’s brother, was giving one of his many speeches years ago and it has still really stuck with me. He was honored countless times over the years for his work with the Antonio Meucci Lodge in White Plains. I couldn’t have been more than 12 years old, so this was almost 30 years ago. He went through our family thanking everyone and saved his sister towards the end. He called her “the glue that holds our family together.” I’ve never forgotten that, and over the years I’ve come to realize and appreciate just how true that statement really is. How many of you can relate that your mom is the glue to your family? 

So here’s to my mom, and all the wonderful, caring, loving mothers out there. This article pales in comparison to the appreciation and gratitude that you deserve, but it is recognition that I can provide nonetheless, thanks to WAG. 

And yes, I’ll always be your little boy and will always send you your favorite yellow roses every birthday and Mother’s Day. 

Wishing all the readers continued safety and health as we continue to pull ourselves out of the pandemic. 

Happy Mother’s Day.

Feel free to reach out to me at

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