I love my dad and mom. They were reunited on Wednesday when my dad transitioned to heaven. He’s with his only son now, too. Gosh, that thought consoles me. My dad believed in the endless mercy and compassion of our God who is love. What a gift to know this with complete certitude. He was the man who could fix or build anything and he was a very gifted person in many ways. His singing voice was one of those gifts. I heard him sing my whole life. I realized when I was in my late 30’s that he had the vocal qualities as a young man that I heard in an old recording of Frank Sinatra. Yes, he was that good! Everyone loved when Tony sang. I imagine him singing with the angels. And I am so happy at the thought. I am grateful for the time we had with him. I will miss his laugh and his stories and our long phone conversations. These are some photos I’ve seen while staying at his home this week. When he went into the hospital again, I felt very strongly I should be here. I’m so glad I flew in on Monday. I will miss you, Daddy. See you again when we’re supposed to! Give Mom & Mike a ‘hug’ from me.

My mom and dad were always so stylish. She always had the perfect nails. I loved her hands as a kid – so dainty, petite. I did not inherit those from her. But other things I did: love of reading, love of music, especially jazz (she did an awesome Sarah Vaughan impression!), love of dancing. And you know most of those things, my dad loved too! He probably enjoyed reading, just didn’t have much time while we were growing up. He was too busy working hard to provide for his family. But I do recall him reading his articles out of the newspaper that he found compelling, funny, or interesting/edifying in any way. He was a lector at church for years. That’s lots of reading. And he would study about the readings before Mass so he could really understand and give a good rendition of the words he was speaking. I always loved his voice, speaking and singing. Loved my mom’s singing voice, too. She did have a kind of jazz vibe going which is probably why she liked to sing along with the women singers on the radio or records which were often playing in our home. I took so much for granted I don’t any more.

But I did when I was a stupid kid. It’s important not to have regrets because we can’t help how foolish (unwise) we are as children and even young adults. But if we learn from our mistakes, whatever they might be, we do gain wisdom. I have learned to be mindful. I will continue to grow in that area, I hope. Mindful of the many gifts and that God has given them to me. So I must be grateful to God and also live a life that glorifies Him, in my actions, my thoughts, my attitude, and my gratitude in the moment for all good gifts around me!

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