on a overcast april afternoon during a twenty one gun salute and surrounded by our entire family, my brother, along with the other grandsons, carried my grandfather's casket to where we laid his body to rest.
he was not the typical grandfather one might picture. he wasn't at my basketball games or my cross country meets. he wasn't
seated across from me when i blew out my birthday candles each year or
present when i received my high school and college diploma. he may not have been present for those things and many others, but what he did for me and my twenty cousins is something we get to see and feel every single day.
he taught his eight boys how to be men, husbands, and fathers.
he taught them about religion, church, and faith. about family and representing the italian american culture. about encouraging your wife to chase her dreams and what true love looks like. he taught them how to cook and work hard. to follow rules and do what is right. he taught them the importance of serving your country, your church, and your community. he taught them family always comes first and how, when needed, to put pride aside. how to provide for your family and to love unconditionally. he taught them it's not how much you have but what you have.
so i may have missed out on having my grandfather present, but in place i got a man in my life who learned how to be an exceptional man, husband, and father from him.
that man is my dad.
last week we buried my grandfather, his soul going home where his true love awaits. we cry. we mourn. we celebrate the life of a very good man whom we love dearly. and as my dad ended his speech in a beautiful mass surrounded by family and friends.
viaggi addio e sicuro
(goodbye, travel safely :: in italian)