Recently, my Dad received the following note from one of my brothers, and it deeply touched him to read these words:
"Pop, when I was a boy, you were the bravest, strongest man I knew. Never did I go anyplace with you that I was ashamed to say you were my dad. Never was I afraid of anything when I was with you. When I needed a hand to hold, yours was the one I held, and it never let me go. You taught me many me things, how to hunt and how to fish, how to use my hands. But most of all, you taught me how to be a man. Then one day in a blink of my eyes, you were old and frail, and it hurts my heart to see that. But as I watch you, I realize you still are the bravest, strongest man I know."
My father expressed strong feelings for every father in the world, that they realize their importance to their children/family, that they have their hearts touched by knowing what they really mean to their children, and that those children be blessed with wonderful mothers that set that example as well.
Too often, we don't express our feelings to the ones we hold near and dear in our hearts, or give them a hug or tell them that we love them. Many times, we just assume that they know, that we'll have tomorrow, or some form of notice at the last minute. Maybe, we just don't realize the power of words, both negative and positive.
In light of all that is going on in this world, we might not have that notice. In light of all that is going on in this world, we need to tell our loved ones, both family and friends, what they mean to us, today and everyday. I believe that's what the phrase, "live each day like it's your last" really means. It means, say what's in your heart today, as tomorrow isn't promised.
Growing up in such a full household, it's wasn't always realized what our parents went through to raise us ... many sacrifices. They were our parents, our discipline, our love, our protectors. When I became a parent, it became all too clear and appreciated, that they made it look way too easy. We've been lucky having Dad in our adult years, as it gave us time to know him as the man he is, to hear his wonderful and treasured recount of his years, to tell me about the night I was born.
My family was blessed to have both a wonderful and amazing mother and father. They showed each other respect and love, that continued each day, month and year. We respected and loved them, and were proud to witness others respect and care for them. Perhaps that's why we try so hard to gain their respect by doing what's right and by living the example they set. It's a great legacy, more valuable than money or possessions, that they have given us, our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc., and we will all cherish it forever.
Patricia Parrucci Santoro