He would have been 85 if he wouldn’t have passed away 12 years ago yesterday due to the ravages of Alzheimers disease. On that day, our phone rang at around 6:30 in the morning as I was getting ready for work. It was my brother Mike informing us of what had happened. He had died in his sleep at a nursing home in Barberton, Ohio.

Dad, Mom, & Me at My Wedding in 1978

My sister Sue posted numerous pictures of him yesterday on Facebook. Pictures of him with her, my Mom, myself, my 2 brothers, and with some of the grandkids. Looking at those pictures, as well as knowing it was the anniversary of his death, it just conjured up a thought that I often have. I truly long to be able to sit down with him and just have one more conversation, even if for just one hour.

If I had the chance, what would I say? I would have to start by thanking him for being a good Father. And then I’d thank him again. He set an example from as far back as I can remember of always being there for us. He worked hard, many times working 2, sometimes 3 jobs at a time to make sure we were provided for.

Some of my favorite memories are when he would take me with him when he was “lathing” houses, and let me earn a little bit of money by helping out. It was me, him, my Uncle Andy, and even my Grandpa on occasion. Great times!

Even while working to provide, he would find time to always play baseball in the backyard on Millbrook St. with us. He would be hitting us “grounders & popups,” and before you knew it, the yard would be full of kids playing right along. He never hesitated to include everyone.

I would tell him that Mom still lives in the house in Manchester, and she is still fairly healthy at 82. I would tell him that she always talks about him when I visit.

I would tell him that his kids are all doing well. I’d say we all have great families, great spouses, have good solid careers, and that his grandkids, and great-grandkids are just a terrific bunch!

I’d obviously be able to go into more detail with my 3 sons. I’d say what great young men they have become. They work hard to be the best that they can be in their respective fields. I’d tell him he would be intrigued by their careers & educational choices. I know he would love to sit down with them and discuss their lives.

We’d talk about the world we currently live in, and how different it is from even a decade or so ago. I’d tell him how 9/11 changed the world. He would be appalled.

I’d thank him again for building the groundwork for me to be able to live & prosper in a very tough world. And I would thank him for helping to instill in me the knowledge to be able to pass on the love & caring to my boys so they can do the same.

I wish that I had just one more hour. Through my faith and religious beliefs, I know he is with me, and he always will be. For now, that will have to do.

I’ll close by saying, that when I walk down the street, and the subject of my Father comes up, I can hold my head high and say, that just wasn’t anybody, that was my Dad!

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