I've been struggling writing this post. Not because it isn't finished, it's been finished for two weeks now. But because I've been having trouble sharing what has happened so far in 2017. At the same time, that is the point of this blog. For you to know what is happening in my life; the good, the bad, the ugly.
In January, my Papa got sick. Two and a half weeks ago, he passed away. I'm still coming to terms and it still hurts. But what has helped me cope is writing and I thought, with Nana's blessing, I'd share with you what I shared with my family.
He had a nickname for all of us. It all started with Peachy-Peachy Boy, The Baby, Sweetheart, Mikey Boy, Sammy Boy, Sweety Pie, and some of us are still fighting over who the real #1 is, Papa made sure that all of his kids were always loved and special.
Our Papa was something else. He was more than a husband, father, and grandfather. He was a soldier, woodworker, storyteller, cook, best friend, partner, supporter, cheerleader.. Our #1.
He and Nana made sure that no event went unnoticed. From watching dance and piano recitals, cheering on the sidelines at soccer games, watching paint dry at gymnastics meets and volleyball tournaments to, down to his last week, watching Sammy’s hockey games thanks to technology, Papa made sure to catch every minute of his grandkids.. Our #1.
When progress report cards, quarterly report cards, and, even in college, semester report cards came around, he wanted to see them. And then he’d give you a wink, pat on the back, and slip a crisp $5 bill in your hand. I remember as I grew older, sometimes a $10 would end up in my palm somehow. And then in college when I’d come home, sometimes a $20. He was the most generous man, always wanting to see success and happiness.. Our #1.
He’d lend his creative, steady hand to projects. I have an incredible spaghetti eating machine tucked in storage thanks to Papa’s inventive mind. He framed many precious memories like our christening outfits or all of the signed Red Wings jerseys. You want to see a work of art? Look at any of the Grandfather Clocks he made. Need a simpler example? He could doodle Mickey Mouse better than Disney himself.. Our #1.
Papa always made sure he was keeping up with our lives. Katie has been asked for the last four years, “Hey, Katie, how's Ding Dong doing in football?” David’s doing well, Papa. Yet, Papa knew. Thanks to technology, he hardly missed a Western game.. Our #1
But, one of the most important qualities I saw in Papa, was his love and adoration for our Nana and the family she helped him create. Everything that we are started with the two of them, and that was something you could tell didn't go unnoticed. His and Nana’s love and respect for one another is what my mom, uncle and aunt learned from and emulated. From the five of them, I hope to one day come a fraction close. Papa and Nana created a foundation to look up to.. Our #1.
He was a phenomenal, sometimes stubborn and grumpy, man. He always did what was right for his family. Aunt Lisa, I’m not even sorry to say this, but I think Papa won the fight he wasn’t even in.. He's the true #1.
As I'm sure you know, nothing prepares you for losing a loved one. My goal is to continue to better myself as a person, professional, daughter, sister, girlfriend, and friend. My goal is to make sure I'm always making my Papa proud as I continue to live here and he watches me from Heaven.