Sunday, June 20, 2010
For my Daddy ~
My daddy was my hero. He was the guy who carried me on his back while he swam laps between the jetties while my mom dug for clams. He put me on his shoulders when we went to the parades each Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and all the others in between. My daddy was a carpenter. That's what he called himself. To me, he was a brilliant craftsman who could build pretty much anything. When I was just a bitty thing, he taught me how to use a hammer, sand the pieces, and 'see' what we were building before it was done. The smell of sawdust still conjures picture perfect images of my daddy.
He taught me how to speak my truth and stand up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves. He schooled me on work ethics and doing the very best I could do. He was stubborn, opinionated and sometimes a bit over-zealous in his teachings. He was not a man to fool with. He was the patriarch of our very large Italian family. No one questioned him, at least not to his face...except me. I was my daddy's daughter; stubborn, opinionated and sassy to the core. I was the only one who ever asked "why?". More often than not this infuriated him. But in the end, it was my obstinance that made him proud. He knew his daughter wasn't going to take any crap from anybody...and even though he never used the words, I always knew he was proud of me.
My daddy had a heart of gold and an iron fist. He was honest, hard-working and patriotic to the core. He never operated with any ulterior motives...he just did what he did because it was the right thing to do. Even in his later years, when he was headed for the grave, his sense of humor remained intact. I remember once, when he was in the hospital and we were all frightened that he was going to die, he told me "I'm not going anywhere. God doesn't want me and the Devil is scared I'll take over hell." Stubborn. Stubborn. Stubborn.
I love my daddy as much as I ever did. I miss him still. And when I'm in my own wood shop, working on this or that, I can hear his voice and see his sparkling eyes, guiding me to be patient and listen to the wood. Oh, how I love that man.
Today I honor my daddy....and all the other daddies who showed their daughters how to be strong. I am deeply grateful to have known him. And yes, he is still my hero.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy.
Love~ Your Little P.I.T.A.