Mum and Dad had achieved so much in their lives, but nothing bought them as much joy and happiness as their amazing '6' grandkids. Their first Granddaughter Gisella who is my sister Linda's daughter was their first grandchild, born on 11th September 1992. They adored Gisella just like she was another daughter and looked after her for the most of her younger years as Linda had to work full time. They took her everywhere they needed to go and loved it even with an occasional tantrum or two. Their first grandson, my son Sam arrived on 15th March 1996. They were so proud of their cute redheaded grandson and looking at him already planning for amazing things to happen. Luke who is my youngest was born next on 24th February 1998. My Dad rarely cried, but he did when he saw Luke for the first time as he was named after him. He was so proud and although Luke did not have the Cannito surname, he certainly has most of Dad's traits. He has the biggest heart and would do anything for you, but just don't upset him.
Mum and Dad would look after the boys sometimes to give Jim and I a special night out now and then. Occasionally they would sleep over and a very special bond came between them. The boys would sleep in my old bed and in my old room which was even more special. While Jim and I were dating he had put glowing stars up on the roof of my room so it would give the illusion that you were outside and it was so peaceful. I would take some of those stars as a memory back to my house. Sam and Luke would stay awake talking most of the night until they eventually would fall asleep. Mum and Dad listening on in the next room so proud of their two grandsons.
Mum would make special biscuits and cakes with them or try to as they were still little. Luke loved taste testing them after they were done. Dad would take Sam who was a little older to the park and they had some memorable moments there. They taught them lots about life and Dad who was pretty smart would always give them great advice. They were young, but they remember and have taken those examples with them and will hopefully pass them onto their kids one day. Luke loved yellow taxis so as a treat they would book one and go to the Dandenong Plaza or Waverley Gardens even if they didn't need anything, just to take Luke on his yellow taxi ride. Luke loved it and whenever we would drive anywhere and see a yellow taxi he would light up and it would bring back memories of those times.
When Dad and Mum would visit, they would always try to be interactive with the boys. Luke loved that Dad would swing with them on the swings, but Sam would yell out 'don't break my swing Nonno', as the photo shows, but he was pretending to sit on it. Dad laughing with his infectious smile.
Then came Marcus who is my sister Linda's son born on 25th March 2001 and then her youngest Jonathon who was born on 30th June 2002.
Dad and Mum's last grandchild is Gabriella Cannito and arrived on 4th January 2010. She is my brother Frank's daughter. She is such a talented little girl and wise beyond her years. She lit up my Dad's world and cracked jokes just like he did. She might not have been a boy who would have been the only way to carry down the Cannito surname, but she definitely has Dad's traits. So loving and caring, but also very temperamental. Even though she was only young, Dad and Gabby had many conversation together and she made him laugh so much. Sometimes they didn't need to say anything and just a look said it all. She was another Luca, but in a girl form. She said it how it was and was so imaginative that she made you forget about the pain and problems of the real world. She still would do this on the phone with Mum. Mum would be amazed at the stories she would tell and would try to tell me them the next morning. It was mainly about Princesses and castles and lots of happy endings. Mum just loved hearing her voice and loved that she wanted to talk to her.
So in all Dad and Mum would have 4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, the oldest and the youngest being girls.
Dad managed to see Sam finish year 12 and go onto University. He even saw Sam get his licence and Sam wanted to drive him home one day and he did. Dad was so proud. I was a bit nervous and was following behind in my car with Mum. He hadn't had his licence for long, but he really wanted to drive him back to Seaview Court and spend time with him.
Unfortunately life gets busy and time goes too quick and we wish that we had spent more time with the people we love. Gisella normally tries to see Mum as much as she can and now Sam is doing the same, normally on a Saturday. They sit and chat and it usually involves eating as Mum would have prepared a feast. A few weeks ago he took Mum to the Dandenong Market to buy and enjoy some fresh hot jam donuts. We used to go the Market when we were younger and occasionally if we were good, Mum and Dad would buy us a a hot jam donut. Sam said that we will all go together one day. I'd love that.
The boys miss Dad so much. Sam wanted a bow tie for clubbing one night as all the lads were going with one. I did have Dad's wedding one, but I was scared and didn't want to give it to him as I didn't want him to lose it. He said "Mum, things need to be enjoyed" so I gave it to him. He was right! He partied hard with it, clubbing, drinking and having an absolute ball. He even took it away with him to Sydney as one of the photos above shows. I felt like Dad was with him and he was having a great time too. Sadly I think he lost it, but at least I have the photos with him wearing it. I'm sure Dad would have been so proud that Sam wore it.
My Luke who is named after Dad has a special photo of his amazing grandad from when he was a teenager that he loves and keeps close by to him. He also has other precious things that belonged to Dad like his first camera that he really wanted Luke to have one day. Luke loves it and keeps it in a special place. He loves taking photo's just as Dad did. I'm sure he will pass them onto his kids one day. Luke takes great care of the things that are precious to him, just like Dad did. He's also proud that I'm writing this story so that his grandparents will never be forgotten. He is a little sad though that I didn't name him Luca which is Luke in Italian and Dad's actual name, but 21yrs ago I thought I was doing the right thing. Now I see so many boys named Luca and most of them are not even from Italian background. It's just a very special name that means light. You're still my Luca, Luke.
The grandkids bought Mum and Dad so much joy and happiness and I know that they will continue to live on in them and their kids one day.