On Saturday, February 2 at 9am I said goodbye to my father. He left us one month and one day before his 60th Birthday to Pancreatic Cancer. He was diagnosed almost 3 years ago with Stage 3 on the brink of Stage 4 PC, went through the Whipple procedure and several rounds of chemo.
As I write this is still feels surreal to me. Did it really just happen? Did I really lose him?
He fought a great fight even up until the end. I, along with my two sisters, and mother were fortunate enough to be there as he took his last breath. It will be a moment that will last with me forever.
He was a strong man and anyone that knew him would tell you the same.
When hospice arrived on Friday night to bring a hospital bed to our home, he resisted getting into it. Even though he could no longer hold his head up and his energy so far gone he could barely speak he mustered whatever he had left when asked if he wanted to go into the bed to say “Fuck No” to me.
I’ll always remember the amazing times we had together, fishing in Rocky Point – Long Island, coaching me in soccer, teaching me about the stock market, giving me a hard time for not being at UConn Basketball Championship games because I was studying for a major exam, playing pranks on his sister, spending time with his nieces and nephews at Thanksgiving and Christmas, taking care of the yard and snuggling with his favorite dog, Teddy. He taught me how to play golf and tennis and took us to places such as Lake George, London, Paris, Kiawah Island, Disney, Key West, Cozumel and The Balsams. He was always there to talk to on my car rides home from work when I was there until late. He loved watching me and my sisters play sports and loved watching sports with us. He loved taking us to the mall to go shopping, because he loved for us to have nice clothes and look well put together, it was something that was important to him. He took amazing care of his family, even up until the last few weeks he was finalizing wills and yelling at his parents to make sure his family was taken care of.
He shaped me into the person I am today. He taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to and could be anything I wanted to be. He taught me about dedication, he instilled upon me his work ethic and of course passed on his sense of humor to me. There are episodes of SNL and Seinfeld that will forever remind me of him. Quotes I’ll always say and I’m sure things I will pass on to my own children. When we thought he was annoying us by telling us to “get a book and read” he was teaching us to expand our brains and educate ourselves. When he told us homework was for Saturdays and Sundays were for family, I understood he was teaching us not to procrastinate and how important it was to spend time with family. I know that now more then ever.
There are so many times I thought he was being a pain in the butt, but in reflecting back, he was really just making sure we upheld the values that were important to him. All those fights we had were to make me a stronger person and learn to argue my point and be confident in my opinion.
He’s gone from my life now but will forever be with us as each one of us carries a piece of him within us whether it’s a piece of his personality or a value/lesson learned from him.
I loved him so much and will forever miss him.
Rest in Peace Dad.
3.3.53 – 2.2.13