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Montreal woman celebrates 100th birthday

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The holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends.

For Teresa Vincelis Molino's family, this year is extra special as she marks her 100th birthday on December 23rd.

Teresa has a youthful spirit, loves to crack jokes, doesn't miss an episode of her favourite soap opera, and stays up to date with her Italian magazines.

It's this light-hearted spirit her daughter Connie admires, especially after all she's been through in her lifetime.

"She lived through the wars, she lived through the Spanish flu, she lived through when soldiers would come to the house to try and get food," said Connie.

Teresa left Casacalenda, Italy in 1949 with her parents, her sister, her husband, and two young children.

When she first arrived in Canada, she had to adjust to the weather.

"In my village in Italy, it snows too, but it's not cold like here," she said.

A few years later, Teresa was blindsided by the sudden death of her husband.

She was only 39 years old at the time and was left with the responsibility of raising her four children, and taking over her husband's landscaping business.

When asked how she got through this difficult time, Teresa said, "I had courage."

She eventually sold her husband's business and began working as a seamstress to help provide for her family.

Her resilience is what brought them strength.

"I don't know how she did what she did. She doesn't hold grudges. She loves living, loves the world. She'll forgive you at any time," said Connie.

Her family is now four generations strong with a tight-knit bond, and it's all because of Teresa.

"I realize so many people are so far away from their children and grandchildren," said Connie. "There are so many things that happen in life, and I think that it's really amazing to have that family bond."

Teresa said she loves when her family gets together and jokes, "Everybody loves me," she said.

As the family gathers to mark the major milestone, they're celebrating Teresa's incredible outlook.

"She had some very dark moments and she was able to rise high. You have to forgive, you have to love your life, you have to reach for the positive," said Connie.  

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