Sep 2, 2010

Posted by in Family Life | 0 Comments

Remembering Remo

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
  ~Clarence Budington Kelland

My dad & his mom

I came across this quote and immediately thought of my dad, Remo Zappavigna. This September 3rd marks the second anniversary of my father’s death. Sometimes, it seems as though it has been forever since Dad left this earth; at other times, it seems like yesterday.

Over the past couple of days, I have reminisced about that last year with my dad, and his last weeks, in particular. I vividly recall having a lovely lunch with both of my parents two days before I got the come-to-the-hospital-now phone call. I remember how Dad flirted with the waitress, with his wacky teasing style. I recall how he was in the “clean plate club” that afternoon. I am grateful for the happy memories I have of that day and I think now how glad I am that I did not know that would be his last lunch out.

Dad, driving pontoon boat

This last week, I have reflected on how lucky I am that my father was gifted with that last year he had on this earth. It gave us – as well as other family and friends – the chance to “circle the wagons” and surround both of my parents with so much love. When I recall the many visitors, I am still amazed by how many lives my dad touched. 

As I think about my father today, the bit of sadness and loss I feel also comes with a sense of quiet calm knowing that he lives on not only in me, but also in my children. I recall him saying the same thing about losing his mom; he once told me that he saw her in his children. Funny how that works. 

Dad, in his recliner

So, on this second anniversary, I will allow myself to feel my loss, to own it. But I will also remember all the good (and even not-so-good) things that made my dad one of my favorite people. 

I like to remember him like he is in the picture to the left: Sitting in his comfy chair, pipe and tobacco nearby, a quick smile and silly giggle, telling me to have a seat and relax.  I get the feeling he is sharing a few jokes with the other angels in heaven, smiling down on us all, and hoping that we are not taking life too seriously.

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