Dad, You Were the Greatest

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.

19 thoughts on “Dad, You Were the Greatest

  1. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, that you continue to be comforted in knowing such a great man. I am sure he is and will continue to be missed. God bless.

  2. You and your family have my sympathy during this time of loss. Your dad will certainly live on in the successes achieved by his children. My dad (also a WWII vet) will soon be 91. My mother is 88 and lost her first husband (a marine) during the battle for Iwo Jima. We must not forget the sacrifices made by those gallant WWII vets and their spouses to preserve our freedom. Vickie, your dad is already celebrating his Independence Day! Happy upcoming Independence Day to all!

  3. I am so sorry for your terrible loss. Your dad must have been an amazing man. I will have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers for peace to guide you through your time of need. I lost my dad last November and I still often reach for the phone to tell him about my latest CLNC® accomplishment. Then I laugh because it hits me….he already knows.
    Take care of yourself.

  4. Vickie, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It was a truly special moment to be able to be with your father as he took his last breath. I was at mom’s side and will always cherish that moment close to my heart. My thoughts are with you as you navigate through the grieving process in the days to come. Take comfort in knowing that you are living out the legacy of those very things that defined your father. It is evident to all that you are your father’s daughter and that you embrace all that was kind and good in him. Our prayers are with you and your family. Love, Kristi

  5. VIckie,
    You and your family have my deepest sympathy. Everyone who has met you can tell what a wonderful family you had by what you give and share with others. Take care and know that he will always be with you!

  6. Vickie, SO sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is never easy. However, you have many fond memories of the many short years you shared, and will draw on many events throughout your lifetime. Laughs, tears, what-the-___, as well. My dad was in ICU for 3 months, and died on my twin bro/sister’s 24th birthday in their birth hour several years ago. We cherish every day we had together, including all 7 kids, spouses, grandkids and mom, were all squished in this tiny hospital room watching the Packer/Bear game and tossing the Nerf football back and forth the night he died! Packers beat them bloody, too! And we laugh about his dry sense of humor, especially when things get rough. He’s probably having one great big card game up there with your mom and others he knows right now! And thinking how beautiful the weather is there! My prayers are with you and your family.

  7. Vickie, Your eloquent tribute to your dad paints a beautiful picture of a strong, dedicated and loving dad…whose memory and values will surely live on in his family and friends. It was a gift to be surrounded by his loving family as he gently slid into God’s loving embrace. You and your family are in my prayers that God will hold you close and provide comfort to your heart and soul as only He can do.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your father, Vickie. It is very hard to say good-bye. You are in my prayers.

  9. Vickie,

    I am so sorry to hear about your father. It sounds like he was a great father to you and your siblings, as well as a great service man for our country. Just know that the fond memories you have are yours to keep and remember in the days to come. He will always be there in your heart and watching over you during the tough times. I know he must have been very proud of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Our fathers hold a special place in our hearts as little girls and as we grow to become women. I lost my father at a young age and still remember many things he taught me in just 16 years. He will be with you forever. Take Care.

  11. Dear Vickie,

    Prayers for peace and comfort go out to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss of this wonderful man in your life. What a gift it is that he is so much a part of you, and with that, each one of your students is the lucky recipient of you paying the gift of your father, FORWARD. What a lovely tribute to your father. Thank you for letting us into that part of your life.

    Peace to you and yours, your student for life.

  12. Vickie,
    Thank you for sharing your Father with us. He sounds like an extraordinary man. I wish I could have met him. My thoughts are with you and your family during this transition. Peace….

  13. Dear Vickie,

    I just read the beautiful tribute to your father. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  14. Vickie,
    I am so sorry about the loss of your father. I know that what you are going through right now is hard but realize that your dad is going to be with you in spirit all the time. There are many times when people say to me, “are you talking to yourself again?” I always just smile and say to myself…”just talking to my dad…”
    This is a sweet poem and I hope you like it.

    Dads Poem

    You never said “I’m leaving”
    You never said “goodbye”
    You were gone before I knew it
    And only God knew why.

    There are no words to tell you
    Just what I feel inside
    The shock, the hurt, the anger
    Might gradually subside

    A million times I’ll need you
    A million times I’ll cry
    If Love alone could have saved you
    You never would have died

    In Life I loved you dearly
    In death I love you still
    In my heart you hold a place
    That no one could ever fill

    It broke my heart to lose you
    But you didn’t go alone
    For part of me went with you
    The day God took you home

    Things will never be the same
    And all though it hurts so bad
    I will smile whenever I hear your name
    And be proud you were my Dad.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers…

  15. Dear Vickie,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  16. Thinking of you – what a wonderful gift your father was – they are such a blessing to our souls. He is a part of all of your success. I lost my dad this year too and I miss him but so thankful he is healed and whole now. Their legacy will always be with us. Take care, Brenda.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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