I will always remember May 28, 2010 …. The day my precious Daddy died. He died suddenly with no waning of a blood clot to his heart. This year, 2020 it has been 10 years since that day and I remember most of it as if it were yesterday.
I remember the middle of the night phone call ( 1:30 AM) from my Mom, arriving at the same time as my one brother, the hospital emergency room, the announcement call of time of death, calling to tell my husband that my Dad was dead and then Steve showing up with the girls who were 15 and 12 at the time and then calling a few close friends. We gathered as a family around my Dad and said the Our Father. To this day, 10 years later I can not say the Our Father with closed eyes without seeing my Dad in the ER and tearing up a little.
Growing up, my Dad and I were very much a like with our Italian tempers and often butted heads. When I went away to college is when our closer relationship started. My Dad was my biggest cheerleader and his support was always unwavering. My family, Dad, Mom, 2 brothers and I all worked in the family pizza business. I remember being in the office that Thursday before he died and the ordinary conversation we had before I left for home. I had no idea that would be the last conversation I would have with my alive Dad.
My Dad taught us well. He was a family man, with a great belief in our Lord and Savior. I know he is with his God in heaven and that gives me some comfort. My Dad had done succession planning for the business with my brothers ( I chose not to be an equal owner operator – I wanted to be a mom to my children, not a business owner). Our company was like family and his death really had an effect all the employees and the community as a whole. My brothers and our office staff did not miss a beat in keeping things going for our pizza chain and dough business. My Dad did well.
I took my Mom home and stayed with her through the morning. My brothers cleaned up the bedroom before we got there. Neither of us slept much. The TV drowned out our emotions. Stupid TV informercials in the middle of the night early morning.
I don’t know how I became the strong one in the family during this time. I planned and organized most of the funeral with some help from the family. I was numb and just going through the motions. It took me a long time to actually get to the grieving part.
I can not begin to say how many people were at his visitation. The line was hours long for the duration. I remember certain friends being there. The support I had from my AA friends was incredible. I probably would not have gotten through that time with out that support. The actual funeral was beautiful with a packed church. My Mom wrote a little something that the priest read and I remember his 4 grand daughters taking up the gifts for communion. It was a special moment. My Dad was liked by everyone. The celebration of life afterwords held in a reception hall was full of wonderful stories and memories of my Dad.
I wish my Dad could see the successes of his children and grandchildren and our business. He never got to meet my brother’s wife, Carey or little Caroline. But I know he sees them.
They say over time memories fade and people forget. I know many will never forget my Dad, He made an impact on many in our community especially his dear family and friends.
Our family is gathering on Sunday for a day of celebration of his life and to share our memories and grief. I feel sad today missing my Dad. I also feel grateful to have been born to such great and loving parents. Life is for the living, but we can still cherish and miss those who are no longer with us. So many memories ….. I will never forget my wonderful Daddy ❤️ .