It was about a week ago.
He was suffering from Alzheimer’s. He wasn’t in any pain and for that I’m grateful.
He never became argumentative or hostile as is often the case with Alzheimer’s patients.
He just kind of slipped away…
He became less and less responsive day by day until I couldn’t remember the last time he spoke or even got out of bed.
He didn’t suffer as long as some. He passed about 4 years after he was definitively diagnosed.
It wasn’t sudden. I was a long time coming. It wasn’t a shock and a part of me is happy he’s found peace.
Still, I miss him.
He was always there for me and now at almost 50 years old I know what it’s like to be truly alone. No one will ever be there again to fix it for me. It’s all on my shoulders now. I sink or swim, responsible for myself with no back up. I haven’t needed him in years and in fact I cared for him far more than he cared for me over the last 10 years, but knowing he was there and he was my Dad…
He was always willing to listen.
Even when I was just a kid he would always listen to my side. I remember once my mother sent me to my room – I don’t remember why and it’s not important - and he came to talk to me. He listened to me and ended up staying the hour with me to keep me company because although he would always support my Mother, he saw my side.
That’s honestly the best thing I can say about the man, or really anyone – he listened. Don’t find that too often.
He was a Lawyer. I know a lot of people like to slam lawyers but he carried himself with dignity and purpose. He honestly tried to do good. He helped his clients and turned down more than a few potentially very lucrative cases because he wasn’t comfortable with the facts. He really did try to make peoples live better.
He was in the Knights of Columbus, he was loyal to the RCC but he recognized it’s faults and actively spoke out about the issues he was concerned about. He wanted the church to change and saw it as his responsibility to start the change. He felt if he did not take a stand he was part of the problem. He welcomed all people into our home regardless of sexual orientation, religious (or lack thereof) belief, race, or ethnicity. He was of the opinion that we are all brothers and sisters.
My friends in high school would often stop by on the weekends because that’s when Dad cooked. Many of my friends were from homes where cooking was not a routine. My Dad, second generation Sicilian, cooked every weekend. He was a great cook and Sunday Dinner usually started out with the 10 of us (Catholic, Sicilian family) and grew to around 20 by the time the plates were passed. Several of my friends parents complained that they never saw their kids anymore because they were always eating at out house
So, he’s gone now.
I’m grateful to have known him and to be his son.
I love you Dad.