Honoring My Dad
Let me introduce you to my dad. His name is Biagio (aka Gino) he is sixty-nine years old. He was born in Sicily. He came to America when he was sixteen, as his dad had told him “for a better life.” He left all he knew to embark on his life’s journey. He taught himself to speak English working at a bakery. Due to Money and responsibilities he has only returned to Sicily one time and that was thirty-nine years ago. My dad still talks on the phone once a month to his sister Nardina.
My dad and mom met at a drive in and shortly after that had three children my seester as we call each other, my brother, and I.
I have fond memories of my childhood. My dad owned a bakery, and we all worked there. I never thought of it as a job, I enjoyed it. We went up north it seemed like every weekend. My dad bought property to hunt on and planned to retire up there when my mom and him got older. We kids were not impressed. We had to pump water, and lets not forget the port-a-potty. In the winter we loved to snow mobile and would make a day of it. We would break often for hot chocolate. I remember the crackling of the fireplace after playing out in the snow. My dad and I would also sit outside listening to a ball game covered with a blanket while the rain hit the awning. Boy, those were the days.
As we all got older my dad seemed like a harder man. We have not always seen eye to eye. I would say to him “you need to have an open mind” for I thought he had lost his love for life. Had life beaten him down with too much work, and not enough fun? Was he in a rut? Or was I just at that age of not understanding?
In my late twenties and newly divorced with a child, Mothers Day rolls around and here walks in my dad, two plants in his hands, one for my mom and the other for me. I cannot express the emotion I felt. Something had changed for me from that small gesture of love. I began to see my dad for who he really was all a long. Recently a Fathers Day card from my niece had brought tears to his eyes, He realized he had made an impact as the card recalled memories of how he was to my niece as she was growing up. My dad has a caring heart under a wall of iron.
I would like to honor my dad for all the special memories. He had taught me to work hard and play even harder and for that I am grateful. I know my children have wonderful memories with him also and we still have more in the making. He has shown unconditional love for the whole family and I am proud to call him dad.
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