My dad, Sal made his transition at age 88 on Wednesday. He was blessed to be surrounded by his beloved family for the 8 days of transition and it was a blessing and a gift for us to be with him as well.
A father is the first man to teach his daughter about love and what love means. Dad was the most affectionate man I’ve ever known, a man of total love. He used to say that he was a lover, not a fighter (even though he was a darn good boxer when he was young). Dad was the greatest at teaching me about how to love and how to be loved. Proof of that is the man I’ve been married to for 22 years, a loving man who is totally there for me in every way. Dad loved Tom and was fulfilled knowing how happy and blessed I am in my marriage.
Dad’s love knew no bounds. He always saw the good in people and everyone loved him. His generation understood friendship in its purest form. He met with his group of friends and his brother every day at Morning Call for coffee until the day he left New Orleans at age 73. True to his New Orleans spirit he knew how to have fun and often joked that he and his friends led lives of dissipation. He had a wild side and that wild side created a man who was open and non-judging, inviting his three children to become exactly who we are. I could talk to dad about anything and everything without fear of judgment.
Dad taught me about service and about giving. He served his country in the Pacific in World War II, he served his family and he served his customers. He was not influenced by money or possessions and was the most generous man I knew. He was generous of spirit, embracing not only his children but his children’s friends. Our front porch was the one where all of the neighborhood kids hung out. The stories, the laughter and games we played with him and mom are cherished memories.
He taught me that anything worth doing was worth studying and learning before I started. And he never let me win at anything – pool, ping-pong or Texas Hold’Em poker. I always had to earn it. There were no prizes for trying. To beat my father at anything brought me great joy. He (and my twin brother Vince) made me the competitive business woman I am today.
Dad also taught me about the importance of working hard and loving and appreciating the work we do. He rose to a 3:00am wakeup call and while he never loved that call, he loved his work and loved his boss. I never heard him say one negative word about his boss – the man he worked for his entire life. His attitude of gratitude was unfailing.
The one lesson that is constant in everything he taught me is that who we are is more important than what we do or what we have. Dad, you were my love and my delight. I am your most blessed daughter. You were the greatest and you will be with me always. I promise to honor you with my every word and my every deed.
Your loving daughter.