Saturday, June 18, 2011
I miss my father. Days like this only make me miss him more. He was a good man, a kind and loving man, a hard working man, a family man. Separated from his family by the Atlantic Ocean, he came here after marrying my mom, to work and raise his own family.
I remember when I was just two or three years old. He loved to take me out for walks. I think it was so he could show me off to his friends. He was always talking to someone along the way. But, I was a lazy little thing. I complained I was tired after we had only taken a few steps, so he would scoop me up in his strong arms and carry me everywhere. I’m sure I wasn’t tired, maybe I just liked being held in his arms.
My mother insisted that I eat a soft boiled egg for breakfast when I was around two years old. I hated that soft boiled egg. I would have never gotten it down if not for my father. He would sit there, with his big “Andy Griffith” grin, and tell me two little stories in Italian and, by the time he was done the egg was gone. I still remember those two stories to this day.
Years later, when I went to college, had to take three buses to get there and three to get back home. My father worked in construction and when the weather was bad, he couldn’t work. As long as he wasn’t working and I was in school, he would come and pick me up. I really appreciated the ride, especially in the winter. One day he was laughing on our way home and he said, “You know what? I can tell my friends that I went to college with my daughter.” We both laughed. It was both funny and sort of true.
When I got married, he walked me down the aisle with his chest all puffed out. It was like he waited for that moment since the day I was born. He was always a handsome man, but in that tuxedo he looked like a million dollars. The father-daughter dance at my wedding is a memory I will always cherish.
And when my husband and I bought our first house, we were trying to paint all the rooms, but we were getting nowhere fast. My father, though he was 35 years older than we were, came over with his rollers and brushes and went through the whole house in a week. He ways so strong and his hands were twice the size of the average man’s, but he was so gentle with me.
When my girls were both, he was the proudest grandfather. He loved them, held them, hugged and kissed them. He overfed them. They could do no wrong in his eyes. His eyes would light up every time he saw them. And my girls adored him.
You always expect your father to be a permanent fixture in your life. You don’t realize that one day you have to let go of his hand and say good bye, and that it’s forever. But, sadly that day came for me on August 24th, 2,000. It’s hard to believe it will be 11 years that he’s gone, he was such an important part of my life. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.