Thursday, March 01, 2007

Remembering Dad

Here's a picture of my dad just before his first stroke. This was taken at my 8th grade graduation. Simply amazing...Its amazing the difference 8 years will make. Its amazing the difference two weeks will make. I estimate that 2 weeks after this picture was taken, June 1990, the day of my 8th grade graduation Dad would suffer his first stroke. The reason I know that is because that green shoulder next to him is me in my gown for graduation.

I remember the day he suffered that first stroke as if it were yesterday. Dad was sitting on the porch in the yard relaxing in the sun. he didn't feel well so he went to the doctor. From there a chain of events were set in motion that would end 7 years, 7 months later. Dad would pass away from Cancer. he would suffer an estimated 4 strokes that the doctors knew about. There could have been others but none others that they witnessed.

Dad is close to my heart every day. After I graduated college I was in NYC looking for a job. I stopped by St. Patrick's and picked up a St. Christopher medal. My Dad had one that he wore all the time. Kevin received my Dad's medal from my mom and I got his wedding ring. Knowing that I wouldn't wear his ring all the time I thought to get a medal similar to my Dad's to honor him. I've worn that medal almost every day since his passing. Melissa wears it when she travels to keep her safe. For those of you who don't know, St. Christopher is that patron saint of travelers.

This picture brought tears to my eyes at work because unfortunately this isn't the father I remember during my high school and college days. My brother and I have different memories of my father. I do remember a lot from when I was a kid growing up. When my Dad made every effort to get to every baseball or soccer game I had. When I was in high school he didn't have to make an effort, he was sick and with my Mom all the time. He maybe missed 1 or two games (football and baseball) during those 8 years. Not by choice but I can honestly say that I highly doubt he missed many.

Even though I didn't really play in varsity games in high school, he did make the JV games. When I was a walk-on at Monmouth he came to every game. He wore his Monmouth hat and sweat shirt. Sitting in his wheelchair watching the game.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and his struggles. With my wedding 6 months away there's a void that can't be filled. I know Dad and Uncle Danny can't be there physically but they are there in spirit. Rest in peace Dad...I love you!

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