Parents are everything to us...and rightfully so, since their children are everything to them. For my family and many of us, our parents sacrificed and left whatever they knew to come to this country and then worked hard to give us a better life than they had.
At the same time, they were responsible for keeping family traditions, and sharing their values and the importance of life. In the end, even if having more made it easier for us, many big things never change from generation to generation, such as love, conflict, and death. And better quality of life never replaces a family's roots and traditions.
Growing up with a Mom and Dad who emigrated from Italy to come to New Jersey, I can really relate to what is being shared about James Gandolfini. He was a true Jersey Boy who lived life to its fullest and was on a journey to Italy with his son to explore their roots when his life was cut short. It was such a tragedy and our hearts go out to the entire Gandolfini family -- they have lost a wonderful person, who always stayed true to himself and where he came from.