We love getting to know each of our residents here at Melody Living in Lake in the Hills! This month, we’d like to introduce you to Renata Cesare, Melody Living’s assisted living featured resident of September! We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Renata as much as we have.
Renata was born in Italy, near Venice, where she was raised by her grandmother while her mother was away working. Renata says she remembers how good her grandmother was to her and that her grandmother was her best friend. However, when her family decided to move away from Italy, her grandmother decided to stay.
Renata was 16 when she and her family moved away from Italy to the States. She says her father had gone to prepare a place for them three years prior to them moving to Chicago. She remembers being so excited to have a TV and telephone in her home.
One Christmas her parents bought her a Singer sewing machine with a non-automatic steel peddle. That Christmas present was when she began her craft and started working toward becoming a seamstress. She remembers going to Gobelats for their rummage sales to buy fabric to make dresses. Renata even made all her children’s clothes until they were pre-teens when they wanted store-bought clothes. She was very proud to be able to make her children beautiful clothes for all occasions.
Renata married her husband, Frank in 1958 and they had two beautiful children together, Elizabeth and Lilly. Renata also has four grandchildren, and no great-grandchildren just yet.
Renata's first job was working as a seamstress in Downtown Chicago. She remembers her mother giving her 50 cents for bus fare a day to get to and from work. It was a lucrative job making and tailoring clothes. Renata said the faster you were, the more money you would make. She remembers her boss telling her “Your stitches are from here to New York,” Which still makes her laugh to this day. After working her first job, she and her husband decided to move to California. So, they sold their bungalow in Chicago and relocated to California.
Renata remembers it being so hard to find a job in California. It took her three months before she could find any work. Eventually, Renata finally found a job in a bakery working the night shift from 4 pm to 5 am. Renata's husband had a tough time finding work as a barber due to not having a certification to cut hair in California. After a while, Renata returned home to Chicago to help take care of her ill mother.
Once she returned, she found work as a seamstress again and worked at Marshalls and JCPenney for 15 years making bridal gowns which she says is her special talent. Her best job was working at JCpenney with her coworkers, they always managed to have a good time, even while working.
Renata speaks Italian as her first language, but she also speaks English and Spanish. She learned to speak English fluently at 19 years after only speaking Italian with her grandmother.
Her favorite hobbies are cleaning and sewing. Renata’s favorite holiday is Christmas because she loves exchanging gifts with her family and seeing the children play with their gifts, though she loves Easter as well.
A pivotal moment in history for Renata was when her mother and sister were able to buy their first home together. Renata's greatest accomplishment is keeping the great relationship and bond she has with her sister.
Renata was living at a nearby facility and it was not a good fit for her. She sent her daughter to look for other assisted living communities for her. Her daughter found Melody Living during her search and Renata was thrilled because the move meant she is now closer to where her sister lives.
It was very important to Renata that she move into a clean facility. After Renata toured Melody Living, she knew Melody Living would meet her high standards. She also noticed all staff members and residents she met on tour were very friendly, and that hasn’t changed.
Overall, she believes Melody Living’s assisted living community in Lake in the Hills is a great environment to live in. Renata’s favorite activities are bingo, attending church services, and live rosary when offered.
Renata’s advice to others is to “do the best you can and don’t look back.”
We can't wait to help you discover a Life in Harmony™ like Renata has with Melody Living assisted living Lake in the Hills. To learn more, visit our contact page to schedule a tour or give us a call at 847.957.7070.