Father’s Day 2021

“Say not in grief: ‘He is no more,’ but live in thankfulness that he was.” – Hebrew Proverb

It doesn’t matter how long he has been gone, Father’s Day is never an easy day. My Dad has been with the heavenly Father for 11 years now and I still miss him like crazy. I am grateful to have had such a wonderful role model in my Dad. He was always present in our lives. He worked hard, but his wife (my Mom) and his children were his number one priority.

My Dad and Mom were high school sweethearts. They started dating at age 14. They were married for just under 45 years when he passed away unexpectedly at age 65. They both were and are a great example of lasting love.

I have a wonderful husband who is the perfect father of our two daughters. And like my own Dad, his priority is his family and what is not to love about that. I will take time to celebrate him and all he means to us.

It is a weird day. Allie is in Texas and Kirsten had to work today, my own Dad is gone, and Steve never really had a Father. No big celebration of Dads.

One thing I am able to do each day, is celebrate my family …. whether they are her on this earth or only here in spirit. I know I am lucky and that is definitely worth celebrating. So tonight, it will be a small dinner out. We will probably see lots of families and fathers and that is okay. I wouldn’t change the family I have and the family I had for anything. The experiences I have had, the love of my parents and family has made me who I am today.

I will never quit missing my Dad. He was a great force in our lives. I am grateful to have had in my life as long as I did. His memory and love will live on in my heart and soul forever.

With my non alcoholic drink in hand, I say Cheers to my wonderful Father and Husband. I love you ❤️

A Little Family History

Today is the 68th anniversary of the start of our family restaurant business. 68 years ago my grandfather started the business. In the early 90’s, my dad, and a partner bought the company and took over operations and ownership. That partnership did not last and so my dad became the sole owner/operator. Upon the unexpected passing of my dad in 2010, my two brothers did not miss a beat in taking over the company.

My dad was a smart guy, he started succession planning in the early 2000’s. It was my choice not to become an owner/operator (in-training) at that time. I was a mom with 2 young children and that is all I wanted to be. I did work in the company in several different capacities throughout the years. In a nutshell I pretty much handled coordinating marketing efforts and customer relations.

My brothers and I were the 3rd generation of the family to run the business. I retired 3 years ago …… I was unfulfilled and I felt I made a better sister than employee. As of now there are no great grandchildren of my grandfather that are interested in taking over the business – no 4th generation. There are 6 great granddaughters who range in age from 5-26. My girls are already grown and started in their “adult work” life. Who knows what my nieces will end up doing, but it doesn’t look like owning and operating the business. This makes me sad. We have come through so many trials and tribulations with this business and today it is quite successful once again.

My husband started working with the company a couple years ago as a consultant. Today he is full time at the business. He is helping my brothers navigate the future of the company and the day to day operations. Sales continue to be good despite the covid pandemic and expansions are taking place. I do feel a little left out, no longer being a part of the business, but still bearing the name the company as part of my name and heritage. It is a mixed up emotion.

I am proud of the work that is being done through the company and our family foundation. I am sure my dad is smiling down on us all …. and maybe my grandfather too (he is a whole different story) as we celebrate this milestone.

It is a good day to reflect on where we have been as a family, a business and important part of our community for the past 68 years …. the good, the bad and the ugly. I have been thinking of my dad a lot too as we just marked the 11th anniversary of his passing. I wish he was here to enjoy the fruit of his labor and the success of his children and grandchildren.

It will be interesting to see where the future takes this family and our restaurants.

My Dad

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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 ❤️ .

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is always now kind of bitter sweet.    As I am scrolling thru Facebook I see all these happy faces of friends with their Fathers.   I am grateful for my Daddy who was taken away from us too soon, 9 years ago at age 65.    I had a wonderful Father who taught me so much about about living, loving, God and family.   I was truly blessed with the Father that I had and I treasure the memories I have.

I also have a wonderful husband who is the Father of my children.   I couldn’t ask for a better guy.   He has some of the great qualities my own Father had and they were close.

I know my Dad in heaven is proud of us and our family.   I just miss him so much.   I have the sense that he is around in a spiritual way, but I do wish he was still on earth to impart his wisdom on us all and to see his children and grandchildren thrive as well as our family business.    I wish he was alive to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

So I may be a little jealous of all the Father’s Day photos I see on Facebook.   But I would not trade or change the Father I had for anything.    I love you Daddy!