Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Life Lessons: Memories of my dad
I am blessed with family and friends and I am proud to be a father of a special boy who inspires me every day and gives me true perspective of life's most important commitments. I have learned how to be a loving and caring father from someone who showed me by his actions and his words through the years when I was a child and during my adult years as well. Actually both my mom and dad gave me the support and love I needed to help me take on the challenges and joys of fatherhood. My mom taught me to be sensitive and receptive to others and to always consider their needs and feelings. She taught me how to be a man with a soft side. My father taught me how to be responsible and hardworking and to meet each challenge with confidence, clear thought and focus. I learned to be humble and to be respectful and to meet life's challenges with true effort, with confidence and with pride.
I have boyhood memories of my dad which still surface and brings me back to a day when things were much simpler and worry free from my perspective as a child. Despite my dad's dangerous line of work as an ironworker and my mom's concern for his safety I felt pretty safe and protected. Sure I thought about my dad at work and worried for his safety but I felt he always prepared himself and knew his work and the dangers and he would always be protected. My dad was very committed to his family and his work and he balanced both as best he could. The demands of his job meant he had to be in bed early and awake early so during the week he was so busy that we really did not get to talk or do things. The weekends were our time to do things together and dad made himself available then. We would occasionally go to the movies. The first movie we saw as a family in the theater was Mary Poppins which was fun and when I see it today it brings me back to the days when I was a young kid seeing it for the first time with my mom, dad and 2 sisters.
I still have fond memories of throwing the baseball with my dad and him driving me to my little league baseball games. Time seems to play tricks on me because I can still vividly picture wearing my baseball uniform and listening to encouraging words from my dad and it seems like only yesterday. He was very happy to see I had interest in playing and when he wasn't umpiring a game he would sit in the bleachers and occasionally my mom and my 2 sisters would be there also cheering me and our team on. I played for 2 teams during my little league days. The Indians and the Dodgers. I loved playing and being part of the action. I developed confidence in playing and was helped and encouraged by a neighbor who seemed to take an interest in my development. Those were great times and I enjoyed them very much and I feel very happy thinking back to those days and driving with my dad listening to the radio as I prepared myself mentally for the game and listened to my dad's advice.
As I approached my teenage years dealing with my internal needs and becoming a young man I turned to my dad for advice and spoke about the things on my mind. I remember when I started noticing the girls my mind was on overdrive with many questions and I wasn't really sure how to approach the subject with my dad. Sometimes I deferred to my mom on occasion and talking about girls became more a conversation I would speak with my mom about. My dad would tell me to always respect the girls and treat them nice and he would always encourage me by saying "there is a girl out there for you only you just haven't met her yet." I remember that clear as day.
I remember the holidays and going to mass for Christmas and Easter as a family and seeing both mom and dad and my sisters nicely dressed. Mom always made sure I wore a nice suit and tie for the occasion. Mom also dressed my sisters nicely as she made sure they wore cute dresses and tights with their maryjane shoes. People from our neighborhood in Brooklyn would always say what a nice family we were.
When I think back to these days I tear up because my parents are both gone now and I miss them both very much. Life is a wonderful gift and we experience so many things and we feel so many different emotions both happy and sad. We realize as we lose people close to us that we all must acknowledge that our time shall come to. As a father I am well aware of this and that is why I feel it is so very important to put things in place for my son so he will be protected and provided for when I must face that day with God. I draw strength from my parents and I have fond memories of both.
April 16th will be a very difficult day for me and my family because it represents the 1 year anniversary of my father's death where we lost him unexpectedly and suddenly as he succumbed to his depression and lost his way. He was such a compassionate, loving, hardworking and very devoted family man. When he lost his wife so many years before he seemingly lost a part of himself. He devoted himself to us and to all his grandchildren and for that we are very grateful.
Dad, We love and miss you very much and we pray for your peace and happiness and pray for you and mom who are now together eternally in peace with the rest of your families and the angels in heaven.
Thank you both for all you have done for us!
Edward D. Iannielli III