15.5.19

Family History: My Mother’s Doctor is a Roselli

Pam Roselli visits Dr. Eric Roselli
Mom with Dr. Eric Roselli at the Cleveland Clinic
Mom called me the other day. “Greig,” she said. “I met your cousin.” She had been in Cleveland, Ohio to visit an aortic specialist. Mom has been battling an auto-immune disorder for a decade now. The latest development has been an inflammation of her aorta which doctors have told her point to a possible aneurysm. So my mom and older brother went to see Dr. Eric Roselli. Dr. Roselli will perform surgery on her sometime in September. So I asked my mom how she knows for sure Dr. Roselli is my cousin. The surname “Roselli” is not uncommon among Italian Americans. Lake Michigan is, according to legend, filled with Roselli’s attached to cement shoes. And in the Vatican City, one can find examples of the work of Cosimo Roselli.
    Mom had a hunch; there was a connection with this particular Roselli because she told me she had a feeling he was related. She said, ”So when I asked him to tell his story he said his grandfather Ercole (Hercules in Italian) emigrated from Italy and he had had a brother named Joseph.” Mom said her eyes lit up. My grandfather, Joseph, emigrated from Italy in 1923. He had a brother named Ercole. They were separated after my grandfather came to the United States after the death of his mother and they didn’t see each other for decades until they were finally reunited as adults. The stories matched! My grandfather, when he emigrated, lived in Detroit. He was a young man, and eventually, he moved to Louisiana. Ercole finally settled in Detroit too and stayed there. So if both stories corroborate - my father and Dr. Roselli are first cousins.
    Dr. Roselli’s father is my father’s uncle. We both share a common paternal grandfather. And this Dr. Roselli will take care of my mom (who is a Roselli by marriage). Mom kept the surname even after she divorced my father twenty-five years ago. I guess she liked the name! And she was raising my two brothers and me, so it made it more comfortable when she was dealing with stuff related to us kids. She never changed the name. So this story is really about my mom who is a cancer survivor, and now she’s battling this recent inflammation of her artery. She’ll have surgery done, and the chances are good she’ll come out of it with a clean bill of health. You've got the Roselli’s on your side!

I've written about family history on my blog - check out related articles here.

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