My Father passed away on January 27, 2017 I have been struggling to write ever since that terrible day. As a matter of fact this is probably attempt number 2,484 but the words just don’t seem to be right. I am just going to try and write what I know best…..to speak honestly and from the heart. Mostly it will be full of photos and a little talking in between. That day has changed my life, our family will never be the same.
We had so many gatherings over the years for holidays, birthdays, and game nights. And even though my Dad spent the last 3 years and 2 months of his life in a long term care facility and hospitals that didn’t stop us. Here are some of those moments through the years.
When family came to town they would go visit with my Dad because he often wasn’t feeling well enough to leave, but other times we got him out of there and had a good time and always made great memories that I will forever cherish.
My Dad loves animals, so we brought in pets to visit him to make him smile. His favorite visitor was “Charlie”, my daughters daschund that she rescued as an old guy form the shelter. These are a few of his furry guests………
My Dad is the greatest man I will ever know. There is no amount of time that will take away my heartache from losing my father. I am blessed to be close to my family. I have learned that there will be family that we love but simply aren’t a part of their lives and that’s OK because other people we will be close too and they are a part of our everyday lives like my Dad was for me and my family. If you were a friend you became family, that is how it was with my Dad. However, in that same breathe if you hurt his family or screw us over he was done with you. My Dad is a loud, cranky, old fashioned Italian man who was set in his ways. He was more pessimistic than optimistic and could be argumentative (we would buttheads often) But, he would be the first one to give you the shirt off his back, give you his last dollar if it would help you. He is loving, kind, and funny, and the best story teller around. Although, his stories weren’t always appropriate. My Dad had kind of a sick sense of humor, but that is one of his charming qualities. By far he’s always been the biggest flirt & loved the ladies! He also had this amazing child like laugh that when you heard it you couldn’t help but laugh.
The holidays were always his favorite time of year and mine too. We always had so much fun getting together, and we all almost always spent way too much money and bought way too many gifts but I guess that’s just what happens when you love someone. Not that money buys anything because it actually means nothing. But my Dad loved to buy quirky gifts that made no sense but he would think it was something we needed. He would crack himself up as we would open our presents and we would always say “oh Gosh another one of those gifts”! The best Christmas we had though was last year in “2016” we all agreed to spend very little and it was such a nice low key day, but it is the last time I will ever see my Dad at Christmas or any day for that matter. Writing that thought alone broke me down into tears. So I will share a few holiday photos…….
We all learned so much from my Dad. He is a deeply loved and cherished man who none of us will be the same without. My Dad always supported me and when he didn’t approve he would tell me. He was like that with us kids, grandkids, my husband, frankly anyone! My Dad was blunt and upfront with you, which is why I am the same way. But, you could never accuse my Dad of being a liar that is for sure, if anything he was brutally honest. Some of our past fun times with him that I will never forget.
These are a few photos of him with his grand children and great grandchildren. He got to spend a lot of time with my two youngest girls, they would stay the night with him and take them to the park and lunch, Etc. He was always at our house every weekend and stayed during holidays. He got to watch them grow up. He also got to spend a lot of time with the oldest Great grand daughter when she was younger. These are two of my most favorite photos of my Dad with the Girls. The first one was when they were about 7 years old and the second one I recreated last year when they were 22 years old. Priceless for me and I think for them too. Sometimes you don’t realize how much of a difference someone made in your life until they are gone.
One of the things my Dad wanted to see most was his Grand Daughter graduate from high school then college. He was able to see both and I know that meant the world to him. It was important to him because he always said “she is a smart girl she will go far in life and I may not be here to see it all but I know she will be able to do anything she wants to do and take care of herself” he wanted to know that she would have a degree and a good job so she wouldn’t struggle in life. My Dad was always a hard working man and taught the ethics and value of a job to my Daughter and she grew up and became that type of woman. He has always been so proud of her, she was always “his little baby”! My Dad and beautiful Daughter during graduation. They had such a close relationship. This is the only Grandfather she’s ever known and had in her life, and let me tell you that nobody could have done a better job than he did, he loves her more than anything and always looked out for her. I am positive that he watches over her now and is her angel!
My Dad was so proud of my Husband when he got sober. He was so proud of the book I wrote. My memoir of being married to an alcoholic and the affects on a marriage and a family. He was so happy that we were able to save our marriage and that we are happier than we have ever been. He’s my husbands best friend, he is the father my husband never had. My husband would have never been able to be here for my Dad when he needed him the most if he wasn’t sober. My husband having 4 1/2 years of sobriety he was able to be here for our family during this deeply sad time and he no longer numbs himself, he feels the loss of this great man whom we all miss. My Dad would help him when he was adding a room onto our house and during one of those days my husband asked my Dad for his blessing for my hand in marriage. My Dad’s response was “I wish I was a bird on that day because then I could fly above and see the expression on her face”. My Dad, the greatest person in the world!!!!
I know this blog probably isn’t what I really wanted it to be but you’ll have to excuse me if my mind is still scrambled. I have learned over the past two months that loosing someone you are close to and love dearly hurts more than anything in the world. Nothing could ever possibly prepare ones emotions for such a life changing event. I can see how people grieve for the rest of their lives, that is how it will be for me. Life goes on yes, but there will always be valleys and peaks where it takes you down to your knees and the intense crying and tears will continue to fall. It is like trying to find your place after a brick from your foundation has been permanently removed and can never be replaced. My Dad has always been my safe place. You see I have been with my Dad all my life, for 47 years that man has been everything to me. He is the one man who has never betrayed me, he always kept me safe, and would do anything in this world for me. Some photos of my Dad and our family life together…………
I could share photos all day long of my Dad, so I will close with this…….Take a lot of pictures in your lifetime, those memories become priceless when you can look back on them and reminisce. I took care of my Dad for many years. I was his voice, his advocate. I always fought for my Dad. He told me how much he appreciated all I do for him. I was always with him when he had surgeries, procedures, doctor appointments, and had hospital stays. I fed him when he was too weak, I always remained positive with him encouraging him to do all he can to help himself and do his best. I was not expecting to loose my Dad when I did he became very ill very fast and his body couldn’t handle it anymore. There are always unanswered questions and things you wish you would have said or done. I know my Dad knows how much I love him and how much I miss him and think about him every single day. It hurts every day too. Never tell someone who is grieving no matter how much time goes by to “get over it and move on” there are some things in life so deeply painful that it never really goes away. We learn how to live with it and we know how life works. Nobody grieves the same and no day is ever the same. Sometimes people look strong but they are crying behind that smile, but everyone needs a safe place to break down knowing someone is there to catch them when they fall and help them when they need to get up.
My Dad is my Hero, my best friend, the greatest human being I will ever know. I know that my brother, my daughter and myself will continue to make him proud of who we are and we will carry with us all he taught us in life. I long to hear his voice, hear his laugh, see him smile, hug him and have him kiss my cheek just one more time. My Dad was there when we all took our first breaths in this world, and we were all by his side when he took his last……..I will forever miss my Dad I think of him every single day. Until we meet again “Poppa” I love you with all my heart, for you are my angel in Heaven. Some photos of Dad and I.
This is the last photo I was able to take with my Dad holding his hand at the hospital. Love those who love you and be thoughtful of the words you leave with someone because you truly never know when they will be your last. As Tim McGraw’s song says “Always be humble & kind”
I Love You Always, Your Daughter…………