We are truly honored to share these very touching personal stories each month. If you would like to honor a hero, please read below. The month of September, we honor...
(This submission was written by Rosemary Callari)
Louis loved his family and friends very much, as they loved him. Besides his Mom and Dad, Louis left behind two older sisters--Krystle and Brandi. He also had two older brothers-David and Mark, and nephews and nieces. He left behind a fiancé, Alyssa and her 1yr. old daughter Lexi. He adored them!
Louis loved his Taurus SHO and was looking forward to racing it. He was very close to his Uncle Steve, who was teaching him all about cars. He had 3 of them!
He attended SUNY IT, in Utica, ECC and Buffalo State, where he was studying Information Technology. He loved big family gatherings, hanging with his friends, his XBOX and his cars. Louis had many jobs--Tops cart person, Pizza Hut deliveryman, and he prepared food at Jim's Steakout. The job he waited for was as a computer operator for SITEL Corp. He worked full time and attended Buffalo State full time.
Louis' family wants people to know that Louis had a heart of gold. Even though he didn't show it on the outside, he was a very caring person. There is nothing he wouldn't do for his family or friends. Anytime anyone called for help, he was there - whether it be in the middle of the night, or in the middle of a class at school. He always played the "tough guy" but he was a softee inside. This was very evident when he played with Lexi and his younger nieces and nephews. He was very gentle with his grandmother of 88yrs. He loved to take her to lunch and let her hang on his arm as she walked. Louis was also very smart and his familys thinks he definitely should have gone to law school as he loved to "argue" a point.
HOW HIS FAMILY HONORS HIM -
We were in Florida on his 22nd birthday and we celebrated at his favorite Hibachi restaurant with his sister, Krystle. Our first Christmas after Louis passed, we cut down the top of a 30 ft. pine tree that we planted for the kids when we first moved into our house when Louis was 6 mos. old. We put the tree up in our front yard and invited family and friends to come and help decorate the tree in honor of Louis. On the one year anniversary of Louis' passing we had a memorial service in our home The Pastor said a few words and prayers. Then friends and family relayed stories about their experiences with Louis. Last summer, for Louis' 22nd birthday, we had a memorial race at Dunn Tire Raceway, where his dad and uncle raced his car against mine. Louis always wanted to see if his SHO could beat my mustang. It did! This summer we built a memorial garden in front of our house. We planted a tree for his birthday. We have a table and chairs so people can come and sit with him awhile if they like. Various family and friends have put some of Louis' favorite things under his tree--Pepsi, model race cars, a Bible, star wars figures, etc.
We have learned that life is more fragile and shorter than we thought. We are grateful that we decided to donate Louis' organs to help others live. It opened our eyes to a whole new "territory" of life and death. We have met and made friends with some wonderful people who are going through the same thing as we are. I never thought much of signing my license to donate my organs until we were asked to consider donating Louis' organs. In fact, Louis was able to donate his cornea to his cousin, Phoebe, who lives in Long Island. The timing was uncanny. Phoebe was preparing to have a transplant within a few days of Louis' passing. Phoebe was able to use her cousin's cornea!
A memorial race was recently held in honor of Louis.
(The following is an excerpt from a letter from Rose Callari to her son)
"We heard from one of your kidney recipients a few weeks ago. We are going to meet them at the end of September, I hope. Your body is gone, but some of it's parts are helping others live . Dad and I knew it would be what you wanted. Phoebe got your cornea. I asked her once if she saw things differently. She laughed. I kiss her eye whenever I see her. She is so thankful."
"I feel your love and closeness everyday. I miss you more than anyone will ever know. I take comfort in the fact that I will see you again someday."
*Read full version Letter TO MY SON