Sep 3, 2011

Posted by in Articles & Essays, Family Life | 0 Comments

And Another Year Passes

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
~Gloria Naylor

Today marks the third anniversary of the death of my dad, Remo. Three years without him here. How did that happen?

My dad is in the first row, left.

During that last year of his life, I attempted to picture what my life would be like without my father being there to talk to, to laugh with, to hug. The reality does not match the vision. At times, the reality is much more empty than I had imagined.

Dad, with his ever-present pipe!

There are still times when I go to call him on the phone. There are other times when I could swear he was right behind me.

Just about a week ago, I caught the scent of the tobacco he used to smoke. It was just a quick whiff, from a man who passed behind me in the grocery store. He was an older fellow, with his tobacco pouch and pipe stuffed into the front pocket on his button down shirt. My dad used to carry his pouch and pipe in the same fashion. All at once this moment was both comforting and sad; for a brief time I felt like my dad was there with me, followed immediately by a profound sense of loss that he was not.

My family, early 1970's.

For the past several days, I have been looking through some of the many photographs I have of my dad. I like having a glimpse into his life as a boy, a son, a brother. From his boyhood through his adult life, his sense of humor and mischief making was a constant. The silly grin on his young face became a near-permanent fixture through adulthood. While he could be very stern, and even scary when he had his Italian temper all aflame, there was never a doubt that he loved his family.

The Whole "Fam Damily"

I will always miss my dad, as I do other loved ones who have left this earth. I do, however, still feel him here when I look at these old photos, when I watch my brothers carry on his mannerisms,  when I hear my sons tell jokes that he would laugh aloud at. And once in awhile, if I am really lucky, I meet an elderly gentleman, in the grocery store, who smokes the same kind of tobacco. All are little signs that Dad lives on.

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