When I started writing this Blog, my dad was proud. He was literally proud of every breath I took–so I wasn’t surprised. He didn’t quite understand what a blog is: so he asked me to print “my book” for him so that he could read it whenever he wanted.
It’s so obvious to me that my dad is part of who I am, it always has been. Today: his absence feels so heavy on my heart.
I wish he were sitting in the living room with the mustard yellow walls wearing his SEPTA uniform. He would be playing his guitar, and I would come running down the hall–my six year old self–in my ballerina hippo sweatshirt. I want to go back to that time; when the man who brought me into this world showed me what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. He showed me how the mother of his children should be treated, so that I would know what I should demand in some twenty years when I became a mother myself.
I want to go back to that ferry that took my fifth grade class to Ellis Island and my dad–decades older than the other dads–came as a chaperone. He wore his signature cap and his sunglasses…cameras in tow. He was happy, and round. I was so excited to have him there. The Twin Towers were still there. It’s so odd to look back at the pictures. It reminds me of the day they came down–and all I wanted was to be home with my dad. His safety.
I want to go back to all of my dance recitals, parades, field hockey games, plays, piano recitals, choral concerts. I want to be cheering for the basketball team in my senior year. I want to visit all of the activities that I did because he was there for Every. Single. One. (Taking pictures)
I want to go back to that time I got the brush stuck in my hair on opening night of Music Man. When my mom and I took hours trying to get the brush out of my hair. We finally cut it out–leaving my hair a chopped up mess. I want to be there now, to hear my dad say: “it’s only hair” as I sob over the loss of my normal hairdo. Lord knows that set me off back then–but he was right. It was only hair. Every parent can benefit from not sweating the small stuff.
I want to go back to that time in college when my dad used Big Red (the house beer funnel) to put gas in my car because it was on empty. Or the time he told me not to drink too much on my 21st Birthday and I got that over-the-glasses look of scolding when he saw my list of shots. He said, “Victoria!” in that way of his. I want to go back to the day I came home from the beach with a tattoo when I was 18 and he said, “it comes off, right?”–but he never once made me feel small for making choices that he didn’t approve of–only loved.
I want to go back to that time I didn’t dance with him at a wedding when I was 10. I need a do-over of that. If I had him here I would dance with him every chance I get. I’d even go back to our dance on my wedding day–even though we all know how that all turned out.
I want to go back to the few moments I was able to capture of him holding Luciano. Even at the end of his journey, (my dad’s life was definitely a journey) he was able to comfort and calm his grandson with that magical pop pop power.
I want to play the guitar with him. I want us to sing together. I want him to see that so much of me is him–even more so after he’s gone.
I miss my Dad.
I know I’m always going on and on about moms and motherhood and all–but dads: you’re all so important too. I know how lucky I am to have had the dad I had. His support was worth more all of the wealth in the world. His love of our family was second to none.
I know my Dad is still with me. I know he’s proud of me and my kids and my mom. I also know that he is proud of Joe.
I like to imagine our two dads having a Father’s Day cup of coffee. Watching us from their heavenly point of view. Exchangeing stories of our childhoods. My dad would thank Joe’s dad for the awesome man that he raised. It’s not an easy task to develop the next generation of good men.
Here’s to the dad’s. The dad’s of the little girls–because it’s your job to teach her what her worth is. It’s your job to model healthy love. The dad’s of the little boys–because it’s your job to show him that emotions are ok. It’s your job to teach him respect and concent. Here’s to the pop-pops who have stepped up to be the man in their grandchild’s life (another thing my dad did). Here’s to the moms who are pulling double duty and being dad as well.
Happy Fathers Day, Daddy. I love you with my whole heart. I miss you every day.
Happy Fathers Day Joe. Thank you for being an amazing foundation and role model for the kids. I’m sure you are exactly the man your dad wanted you to be. I love you. ❤️