twelve years gone...

it's hard to believe my dad has been gone 12 years now.
that number just sits there…my brain refuses to register it.
but Nick will be 12 in July, and my dad passed away just three weeks before he was born.
so 12 years. wow.

it seems like yesterday we were all sitting in the waiting room at St. Mary's Hospital. the doctors deciding what to do and my mom not wanting to make those 'too big and too soon' really tough decisions.
hospice came and a few days later he was gone. it really doesn't matter how. i still don't get the 'why.'
but it's not for me to know the why.

God knows. God sees the bigger picture.
we just get a glimpse of this life, and then we're gone too.
the only solace and peace i get is from the fact that my dad accepted Christ as his savior two days before he passed. two days. this from a self-proclaimed atheist.

my dad was a strong man. both in body and in will. stubborn to the core. italian and proud.
big strong hands that swallowed up my little girl hands.
i loved him for being the strength in our family.
i loved that he played the guitar and sang like no one was listening.
i loved singing along, even though i didn't have one lick of tone or harmony in my voice.
country music was in his soul. it was his soul. especially johnny cash and willie nelson.
i loved that we went fishing and walking and talking and camping.

i loved this one awesome july we spent together home alone. i was in my senior year of high school and i was doing a co-op program, so i had to work half the summer. my mom took the rest of my siblings to Port Henry camping while my dad and i stayed home. in the mornings, he went to his job and i off to my job in manhattan.
he always made it home before me and i'd walk in the door to find my dinner on the table. most of the time with orange juice. and he'd say, "orange juice. it's not just for breakfast anymore." hahaha!
i loved his sense of humor!! oh he was corny and dry at times, but he always made me laugh!

he loved his coffee too. (no surprise there!)
he was a hard worker, even when he retired. he just couldn't sit still for too long.
seeing him lying helpless in a hospital bed was heartbreaking.

i miss him dearly. and my boys are missing out on his corny jokes and his years of wisdom.
that makes me really sad to think about.
so i don't. except when i write about it. then it gets in my head for a while.
my boys never got to meet my dad. they see pictures and hear stories.
but y'all know it's not the same. they will never know his kind heart and dear soul.

but i will forever remember him with so much love. and that will have to be enough.
love you dad!


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