It’s Father’s Day in the United States (where I live) and that is cause for much remembering, as well as celebration. My own husband is a father to 3 and a step-father to 2. That means dinner and phone calls (for those at a distance) and cards and deliveries — and love shared.
It’s also a time to think about my own father – who was a wonderful Dad. He loved his children (all 7 of them) and worked to advance in his career to provide for us and put every one of us through college. That is a huge accomplishment and one that I appreciate even more as I reflect back on that today.
My father was a first-generation American – he was born to Italian parents who made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the land of freedom back in the late 1920s. They worked hard and made multiple sacrifices (a conversation for another blog) to provide my father and my aunt a “foot up” on the economic ladder.
He was the first in his family to receive his undergraduate degree, as well as his Masters of Business Administration (long nights, with young children and hours of study).
My Dad became a father in his early 20s. He had a promising baseball career that ended, as he walked away from it and joined the army to better provide for my sister (his firstborn). He loved baseball to the last day of his life.
My father was a Dad. He was the one who tirelessly threw the ball to my brothers (while I ran back and forth in a game of pickle) and he organized baseball games at the elementary school for the neighborhood kids almost every weekend of the summer.
When the winter weather took over, he flooded the backyard to create a rink for his children to skate on (we were each outfitted with skates). He loved hockey so much that he configured goal nets that were placed at either end of our dead-end street and the field hockey “rink” was the game (winter or summer).
I even recall a young neighborhood child coming to our front door on a Monday afternoon, ringing the bell and asking us if my Dad could come out to play (he was, of course, at the office). All the neighborhood kids loved him – as did his children.
I could go on and on with stories. One that I thought of earlier today was when he paid from me to take an Amtrack train from my college to my hometown so that I could complete my senior thesis. I talked to him about going away somewhere so that I could focus and get it done (final draft was due in a few days). He worked it out for me to come in on the train and be transported to his corporate office where he left me for the night to “get it done” – and he drove me to the train and back to school with a completed thesis.
My father was an entrepreneur in his soul. He longed to start his own business and once my youngest sister graduated from college, he retired from the corporate life and then lived several successful years as a consultant. My entrepreneurial urges definitely come from him and my Grandma (his mother).
Mr. Scarpone’s reputation always preceeded him – whether in the neighborhood or throughout the state for the agencies that he served. He tirelessly gave to his community (parent associations at the schools, Little League manager for 10 years, church youth teacher and board member). He tirelessly gave to his children.
He was a wonderful father AND a great Dad.
Thank you for all you did for me that has served me so well in my life. I love you, Dad.