I had a hard time figuring out how to start this because Dad was such a full character. You could write books about Dad.
So if we are going to talk about Dad we should start and include arguing. He brought arguing into a new art form. I tell people Dad is about the only person I know who could argue about the shades of a color. It’s blue. Dad in response No its light blue. But it’s still blue. NO its light blue. And that would turn into an argument. It would end, the following day Dad would see me and say Just let me say one more thing and then we can drop it.
Another one of our lasting arguments or shall I say heated discussions was about boxing. He would go on about how Rocky Marciano was the best boxer. I would argue that Mohammed Ali was. Dad would say I saw both boxers I should know, what’s wrong with you, use your brain. It was always what’s wrong with you use your brain for everything. Finally years later Dad admitted you know… you’re right Mohammed Ali would have beat Rocky Marciano. Sorry Dad I’ve been watching Marciano’s old clips on the computer and he would have killed Ali. We never did settle that argument.
As time went on we still argued but not as heated as they once were, more like discussions. I never felt they hindered us but pushed us forward towards the truth and challenged us. Iron does sharpen Iron. I am glad he challenged me as it armed me for life and standing up for what I believe.
Dad was also very giving. And I am not talking about just giving his opinion which he was very gifted at. I mean giving as in everything. It was hard to out give Dad. I don’t know if Dad ever met someone who didn’t walk away with something. Whether it was food, a drink or literally the shirt off his back Dad was always giving.
Dad was always open with a hug, a handshake and smile to everyone.
This past summer I took him out to IHOP after a lengthy spell of sitting inside. He was like a little kid all excited with a big smile to go out. Once inside Dad had a greeting, a God Bless you, a handshake to everyone that walked in. That was Dad.
In a lot of ways I feel that Dad lived some of his dreams through my life and I lived my life through his dreams. Dad always loved travel and had me hooked at an early age. In fact the beginning of my book starts with following in Dads Tire Tracks. Dad always dreamed of a motorhome, I eventually bought one that he equally enjoyed if not more.
Dad always told me he wished he had the gift to talk to people as I do. Dad said he wish he knew how to put words together as I do. What is funny is I give Dad the credit for my ability to do both.
My involvement with politics, that was also because of Dad. Dad was always up on current events and Bible prophesy’s. We never argued politics because we were almost always in agreement. A lot of my opinion was shaped by him.
Dad didn’t read much either but he seemed to know just about everything. Even as he got older no matter how much I knew and did, I still asked his advice and he always seemed to be one step above me.
In fact even with only an 8th grade education, which he always mentioned, he use to edit a lot of my writings and find mistakes that I missed. I am sure he could edit this.
And being a father, His father wasn’t the best father so how did Dad learn to be a true loving Christian Dad? That was a puzzle to me.
I always tell people that I am not your typical Italian, I am not Catholic, love Country music and I am not prejudice. That also came from Dad. He was open to everyone, he didn’t care what color or nationality you were, you were invited in.
Thinking way back, I remember being very sick as a child. Dad would hold me and say if I could take the sickness instead of you, I would. That was another side of Dad, the compassionate side, the opposite side of using a baseball bat on someone as he always warned.
Dad always brought up God and reminded me often about reading the Bible and encouraged all my friends the same.
I could go on with so many other things about Dad but will end with his humor. In so many bad situations or when someone was trying to talk serious to him he would joke. This lasted until the very end.
Because of his outlook and humor he never got old to me. I still had hope of Dad getting out of bed because he kept telling us when he is better we are going somewhere.
Dad really went out on top.
So I will conclude with this….
Before we decided to take Dad to the hospital this past Sunday Mom called me at work and said Dad is trying to talk and he is beating on the drum you bought him, get home. We didn't know at this time why his actions were so bizarre, it was because of a stroke. The only movement he had was his foot kept moving and his hand was moving up and down until they gave him the drum which he repeatedly beat on. Suddenly it occurred to me what Dad was trying to do. He was trying to communicate.
So I grabbed a pen and paper and told Dad write something.
As he was writing I hollered for the family to come and help me figure out what he was trying to write. This is what Dad wrote and he wrote it in cursive: I'll be down to get you in a.... WHAT DOES IT MEAN, WHATS HE TRYING TO SAY, wait he wants to write more. ...taxi don't be late. HUH? Cindi spoke up and said that's an old song.
I asked Dad again to write something for me. This time he wrote: I am writing something for U. What a card. I asked once more before the paramedics arrived if he wanted to write anything else, he did and wrote this gem: He who laughs last so grows the tree words of wisdom by Swami Bino
My sister wasn't too happy with Dads humor but to me it was just him even in a bad situation calming us down and saying hey I am OK.
Well Dad when does the taxi arrive?