What do we say about our mom Garyfallia besides that we all loved her?
She was strong, resilient, mischievous and complicated. She dearly loved her friends and family – both near & far.
Our mother lived a long and tumultuous life. She experienced parental loss, isolation, depression, a world war, civil war, familial estrangement, cultural displacement. All this before she was 32! Yet, she gave her love and joy generously.
She was a loyal friend to many and a trusted confidante. A supportive therapist who, with her iron will, guided us honestly and fairly. Left or right-handed, she had painful precision wielding a wooden spoon when a stern lesson was not quite understood. We will miss her laughter, her hazel eyes, her dry wit, her reprimands, the unique way that she connected with everyone and especially her unconditional love and ability to forgive ALWAYS.
She was steadfast in her faith. One of her milestones was a pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Jerusalem where she was baptised in the river Jordan, entrenching her lifelong bond and faith in our Lord.
Of course she loved all things Greek, especially Paros, and the special families that became an extension of ours. Her ability to make friends with tourists and locals through her warmth and humour has made for many stories over the years. Her frontline efforts during the Samina ferry disaster in 2000 deepened her love and loyalty to this beautiful place even more. The Church of Ekatotapiliani has heard many prayers from her lips, as our mom could not resist stopping in to say a prayer every time she walked by, even if it was more than once a day!
Mom was so much more than us; there are 89 years of friendships scattered across her universe. Some have been waiting a long while to catch up with her and others will now have to wait their turn. She loved her family as much as she loved each of you – well, maybe she loved us a little bit more 😊
She shared her infectious sense of humour with everyone. She loved people and was selfless in helping others. She loved company. She had a green thumb and could grow lemons in winter.
We cannot begin to express how much she sacrificed and how her spirit shaped each of us- her son Chris (and Pam), daughters Emilia (and Frank), Christina (and Joe), sons Constantine, and Nestor, grandchildren Valerie (and great grandson Mighty Max), Patrick, Michael and Julianna. We miss her immensely.
Her life is the stuff of novels. We will all catch up eventually. Until then we will be missing our mammaka and our Litsa.
We can be soothed by her own words written in a small note on a page in her very well-populated phonebook:
Δεν με φοβίζει ο θάνατος γιατί είναι πόλοι τόποι που εκεί μασ περιμενουνε αγαπημένοι άνθρωποι.
May her memory be eternal.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor Street West, Toronto, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Funeral Mass is on Monday, January 10, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 136 Sorauren Ave, Toronto. Due to the current restrictions surrounding Covid, proof of vaccination is required upon arrival.
For those unable to attend the Funeral Mass in person, the service will be live streamed. Please copy & paste onto your browser.
Info: For those unable to attend the Funeral Mass in person, the service will be live streamed. Please click the link to watch the service livestreamed. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDyoq9giG8voozzUE2YkZLw