Louis John Zitiello, birthday reflections

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Louis.

Our Louis!

He was a really good little boy.

He was also a LITTLE brother to his really BIG brother Scott, also known as “the perfect child”. And, he was a big brother to his little sister Lindsay, also known as “Sister Mary Rose.” But his Mother and his Dad loved him very much, especially his little nose and his shark teeth.

Being in the middle was sometimes a very hard thing. He had to grow up pretty fast, because when his sister came, and if Dad was not there to help, Mother could not carry him like all the other eleven-month old little boys.  He had to walk next to her.

His brother Scott and his girlfriend Blake were great but sometimes they were annoyed that they had to watch over Louis and his little sister Lindsay. But, they did it anyway, because we are a “family” and we all need to pitch in.

One day Scott and Blake got married and moved into a condominium and began to pro-create. They continued to follow strict Catholic doctrine until they had four children…three angelic little girls and a skinny but fearless boy named after his Poppa…”Tommy Z”.  Scott and Blake lived too far away to care for the little children and besides they had their hands full as it was.

Anyway, The Zitiello’s moved up to Jacksonville and Louis became the “big brother” to sister Lindsay Boodle. Louis took this responsibility seriously and tried every day to fit into his big brothers shoes of being another “perfect child”. However, he didn’t think he could ever fill Scott’s size 12’s, hard as he tried.

His little sister was fun however she began doing things that Mother and Dad would have killed her for, like riding her bike to school when she was supposed to take the bus.  But, Louis continued to pray for her…and pray…and pray, and pray.

Louis and his buddies Matt, Jack and Greg had fun with Lindsay and her friends. They really enjoyed spending the night on the weekends and camping out in the backyard or going to the movies or out for dinner at Chizu with Mother and Dad.

Dad would not allow Louis or Lindsay to go to the movies without him until they were 21. So, Dad would drive them and their friends to the show and sit in the row behind them so they did not mess up. Louis thought this was ok, and Lindsay was really embarrassed. But, Louis loved his Mom and Dad and knew they knew what was best for them.

Then Louis went off to Catholic High School and immediately joined the golf team to find friends. He found a nice friend Amad who was not even on the golf team. Louis had such a big heart he offered to have Mom drive Amad home after school…..every day.  The guys on the golf team were hot dogs and he liked them but didn’t want to hang around with them and drink and smoke dope.

Now, the very next year when his sister Lindsay Boodle  (Sister Mary Rose) came along to BK, she had no problem with going to the parties and finding her first serious boyfriend. Louis, on the other hand, continued to pray and pray for Lindsay.

Louis told his Mom and Dad that he really disliked BK and asked if they would consider allowing him to attend the local public high school with his old friends Jack, Matt and Greg.  Because Louis was finally becoming a really perfect child, even though he didn’t realize it, his parents agreed.

“Phew”, said Louis.  “Lindsay needed to get away from those wild kids at BK.  Thank God Mom and Dad agreed to let us go back to public school.”

Louis continued to study and work and play golf.

The next paragraph would be written about his first serious girlfriend, but we will not go there.  It is after all ancient history and would make this story way too long. You can only imagine….. she was responsible for the end of his golf career.

Louis applied and was accepted to UNF and upon graduating High School he entered college.  Although he did not graduate, he gave college several attempts. His parents made him pay for classes he did not get a C or better in, so, he spent a lot of money on the education he was not receiving and finally decided it was not for him. But, the one good thing that came out of these years was Louis met a beautiful girl a bit younger than he and they fell in love.

Louis began to work in the family business and eventually displayed a natural sales ability inherited from his Father.  He continued to live in his bedroom upstairs and he continued to pray for his sister Lindsay who now had broken up with the original boyfriend, and was sailing through college with great grades while dating one of Lou’s good friends Matt G.  His prayers for Lindsay really seemed to be paying off.

One day Louis realized maybe he needed to pray for himself.  God did a great job with Lindsay. So, maybe He could do the same for him.  He prayed he would find the strengths that God had given him and use them the way God had willed. He prayed he would save enough money so he could move out of his bedroom at home and out on his own. He prayed he would become the true perfect child. He prayed and prayed and prayed.

One day, God will answer Lou’s prayers and then I will finish the story.

But, the one thing I know about Louis is he has a huge heart and he loves his family beyond words. He does not give himself enough credit. He does know that God has a plan for him and he just needs to follow his heart to find what that is.

You know God doesn’t make junk…so Louis needs to realize he always was the perfect son all along. Happy Birthday. Mr. Twenty-Five year old Perfect Son.

We love you,

Mom and Dad


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