My father is the one on the left in the back row.
He was 89 years old when he passed on from this life.
He was an amazing man, always with a smile and never complaining. No matter what life dealt him, he would always just accept it. He was a very hard working man, usually working 2 jobs to support his family. He even found time to volunteer his time.
He was an auxiliary state trooper, and was very proud to wear the uniform.
He was a veteran of World War II and was very proud of his service time and had very fond memories of his travels overseas.
He was a devoted husband and father, working hard and long hours to support his wife and 4 children.
He was a factory worker and never complained about his work. He also had a part job for many years at a local liquor store.
I can remember walking alone to go and visit him at work at the store.
He found time to spend with his children on Sundays, I have fond memories of days at the beach and the drive in movies, and he never missed a parade.
He loved our country and love the flag.
One of the things we do now at his cemetery site is to always make sure he has a new flag flying.
He loved the holidays and loved being in pictures.
One thing I will never forget about him is his beautiful smile.
He was a happy man and lived a simple life never needed the biggest or the best of anything.
He never passed a church without tipping his hat and making the sign of the cross.
He would never pass a penny on the street without picking it up, and my son, his first born grandson still talks about their penny walks.
He would take him by the hand since he was able to walk and they would go looking for pennies. They never came home without any.
Every year on his birthday we have a picnic at his cemetery site.
One of my sisters started this tradition. We have lunch and cupcakes and sing "Happy Birthday" and the kids let balloons go up to heaven for him. We even bring lottery tickets the scratch off kind to open there. He was a Bingo, casino, card playing lover. He was always waiting for a big win. He did have some nice small wins but, never the big one that he wanted.
We even put some tickets in his pocket before they closed the casket.
Another thing that I do is get lunch at his favorite outdoor hot dog stand and a few scratch off tickets and visit the cemetery over the summer a few times.
He wanted a nice stone in the cemetery so we can always find him.
So we go quite often to visit all the kids really enjoy our trips to see grandpa and now the great grand kids are enjoying the visits.
I hope this tradition keeps up I know he would love it.
The cemetery where he is doesn't allow you to put things at the grave site, they like it nice and clean, but, we always manage to leave some change and a flag or another treasure that the kids made for him.
Fathers day is this Sunday and it's a sad day for me, I really miss my dad and wish I could just see him again. I would tell him I love him, I feel like I didn't get to tell him that enough while he was here.
All I have now of him is memories and pictures and his favorite hat and flannel jacket and his blanket with a million dollar bill on it.
I keep his hat on a chair in my bedroom so I can see it daily and I put it out in the dining room on the holidays.
My dad came from a large family and in the picture above there are some of his siblings notice the big smiles they all loved the camera (not something I inherited).
The only 2 living now are the 2 to his right one sister Angeline (Julie) and one brother Victor (Vic) they are the 2 babies of the family.
We recently lost Margaret at the age of 96, she is sitting on the bottom row left and the sister in the middle Caroline lived till her 102ND birthday and Concelia was 97 when she passed.
There quite a few more that died a little younger.
They were a great family and stayed close their whole lives.
It was wonderful having a large family and getting to spend holidays and summers together.
I'm still close to lots of my cousins and all of their families. It's a great comfort to me to have cousins that I'm close to. I hope our children will continue to keep some of the family traditions going.
I get to see my dad's smile in the faces of my grandsons.
Happy Father's Day Dad I miss you and love you. See you Sunday.