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A Father’s Dream Realized

After 10 hours of flying, the plane finally touched down in Rome Italy. It was starting to sink in dthat this was no longer a dream but reality. It was 1987 when I promised to bring my dad here, and 25 years later I had made it with my own son. But still, it had not completely sunk in. Jacob and I spent the first three days touring Rome and all its history. Then we were on the train headed to Sigillo in Umbria. I had no idea what to expect but I always had my own vision of what this town would look like. When I stepped off the train emotions filled my heart and tears filled my eyes. I had done it. With the help of so many wonderful people I overcame the barriers that seemed to want to stop this dream from happening. But here I was walking in my father’s footsteps with my own son beside me. I totally felt my father’s presence and could see his smile in my heart. What I saw was even more beautiful than I envisioned. A small village of about 2500 people in the mountainside of Italy. I sat down in a chair looking out the window of my hotel room thinking how wonderful it would’ve been for my father to make this trip. Over the next three days I would meet Eutizzi family members I never knew existed and discover the heritage of my father.
The beauty that is Italy was all right here in Sigillo. It was the landscape, people, food, lifestyle, history, and traditions that are a big part of Italy. My cousins shared with me ten generations of Eutizzi’s going back to the 1700s. I sat in the room where my grandfather was born and a home that had been in our family for almost 200 years. The only bad part was having to say goodbye. This part of the dream had come to an end and I was filled with many emotions. But now that a connection had been made it was up to me and eventually my children continue the correspondence and return once again to our roots.
I learned so much during this trip, even to speak some Italian. But mainly I learned there is a whole lot to be discovered in our lives if we do some digging. As excited as I was to meet family in Italy, they were just as excited to meet Jacob and myself and learn all about our family in America. Chances are most of us have a family history with the story to be uncovered and told. If you haven’t taken the time to do the digging, I am proof of how rewarding it can be. Thanks to the Gleason Foundation for making this dream a reality, and to those individuals who assisted in making it happen. I have 10 hours of video and 400 pictures to relive this adventure over and over.

4 responses to “A Father’s Dream Realized

  1. Jim, I am so very happy that you were able to go back to the “old
    country”! We lived and my Father’s job was in Venezuela. He spoke perfect Spanish. This was my Dad’s motto. “De todo mal–algo bueno viene.” (From something bad, something good can come!)
    Your trip to Italy is a perfect example–because of ALS you made this journey with your son. He will pass this story on to other generations and family members.
    Jim, my husband, Jack had ALS. He passed away so peacefully on New Years Eve, 2000. Since then, New Year’s Eve is so very special to me every year. Like you, Jack loved and appreciated life to the very last. I try to stay involved and hope to see you at the Brewer Game or in the ALS office. Jack’s motto was “Never, never, NEVER give up!”. And he never did–and neither will you!!

    With prayers and LOVE for you and your family,

    Carole Coombes

  2. Kathleen Huevler ⋅

    I absolutely love your story of your trip to Italy. Your Dad lived across the street from me on Pioneer Court and I can just see his smile as he was watching your journey with your son. Thanks for the sharing & have a great 4th!

  3. John Boler ⋅


  4. Alice Wolfe ⋅

    What an amazing fulfillment of your dad’s dream you and Jake enjoyed! Keep that curiosity alive … It’s a wonderful gift you’re giving to your children … Your love of life while enduring this disease is what the Gleason Foundation honored with this gift. You’ve still got that twinkle in your blue eyes that you had when I first met you … So lucky to have been blessed with having you and your example in my life! Keep up the great work. Hugs Alice

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