Two weeks ago my dad passed away.
He had been ill for quite some time and had been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes. The last few months of his life Dad wasn’t really living, he was just existing. He wasn’t ready to go just yet. When it was time he did it the way he wanted, at home, the place he loved most. I have solace knowing that he is no longer in pain and is in peace.
I had been saying my goodbyes to Dad over the past several months. I thought it was important for him to know how much I loved him and how his grandkids adored him. Sometimes I would sit and talk with him while other times I would show him pictures or video of the kidlets. However, some of our most profound moments were when we just sat quietly with each other.
I knew the end was near, but I don’t think you’re ever truly prepared to lose a parent or loved one. It has been one of the most difficult moments of my life and I’m still trying to understand a world that my dad isn’t a part of.
My dad was a cornerstone of my life. He was on this planet for 88 years and I was lucky to have him in my life for 42 years of them.
There is nothing I can say here that would do my father justice, they are just words and not the man himself. My brother-in-law keenly pointed out after reading his obituary that Dad lived the definitive 20th Century American experience. He was born and raised during The Depression, fought in WWII, got married, raised a family, owned a home and worked at the same company for his entire career. It is profound to think of all the things my dad saw, did and experienced over his life.
I’ll be honest though; it wasn’t all wine and roses with my dad. He could be difficult, stubborn and always said what was on his mind whether it was good or bad. Maybe that was the “Italian father” way in him. But he also had a fun, loving, compassionate and playful side that I’ll never forget.
I’m thankful to Dad for teaching me the values of family, home, faith, hard work and loyalty. I hope I can do him justice by instilling those values in my own children, his legacy. He’ll never know how much he inspired me. Many of my accomplishments in life are due in part from wanting to “make Dad proud.”
One of my most endearing memories of Dad in recent years was seeing him with his grandkids. No matter how sick he was or how bad he felt, he always was able to manage a smile. Even towards the very end, Dad would “light up” when the kidlets came into the room and they in turn adored him. I’m not quite sure they understand the finality of Pop Pop’s passing – but they have asked to go visit him at the cemetery. I’m not sure I’m ready for that…..
I miss you Dad. I’ll always miss you.
I’ll miss the way you loved to watch baseball, but never your beloved Dodgers for fear that watching them would somehow jinx them.
I’ll miss the way you were always first to the table for a family meal.
I’ll miss the way you showed your grandchildren unconditional love.
I’ll miss the way you’d watch Tom & Jerry, laughing and entertained as if you were a little kid.
I’ll miss your deviled eggs and stuffed celery at Easter.
I could go on forever in the ways I’ll miss you Dad, but these memories are the way I will keep you alive and in my mind and heart forever.
Your little girl
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