2.12.2015

Hello 2015



A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to tag along with my husband on a work trip to Hawaii.  As far as work trip locations go, you really can’t beat Hawaii, so even though I would be spending most days alone as he worked, I couldn’t pass this one up.  We also decided to take advantage of the fact that as I neared 7months into my pregnancy this would probably be our last trip sans baby (due in April).

While he worked, I spent my days wisely - relaxing, recharging, and reflecting.   And honestly, it’s just what I needed because besides being pregnant, the tail end of 2014 was somewhat of a doozie for me.  We were so happy and blessed to find out we were pregnant back in August but with that news came exhaustion, what I like to call “all day” sickness for 3 months straight, weight gain, heartburn and all the fun changes that can be a little intimidating for a first time momma.  Then at the beginning of October came the unexpected passing of my father, which truly rocked my world.  Although my dad was 84, he was in near perfect health for a man his age and still unstoppable.  I consider it both a blessing and a burden that I was with him the day he suffered a massive stroke.  On one end, I hope I was able to bring him some comfort, but at the same time I keep thinking that there should have been more that I did or said in those final moments.

It’s been for the latter that I’ve been somewhat stuck back in 2014 not quite wanting to move on to this new year or do much of anything, which explains the long pause on the blog.  I’m not one to make a big deal of New Year’s Eve celebrations but I typically relish in the idea of starting a new year with a clean slate and lots of positive energy.  My Januarys have always been filled with a cheery outlook accompanied by ambitious goal setting, resolutions, and to-do lists.  This year though I wish I could rewind the clock and stay in 2014...sometime before October.

But as the old saying goes, life goes on and so it must, and in this case life will literally come in April with the birth of my baby boy.  I was again blessed to have had the opportunity to share the good news of my pregnancy with my dad right before he passed.  He was excited beyond words and if nothing else I know my son will have a special angel watching over him.

So this year instead of setting goals I want to focus on improving the qualities in myself that I admired in my father and that he lived by example everyday of his life.  I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to a man that meant so much to me.

1. Loyalty to Family.  My house wasn’t full of hugs and I love you’s growing up, but my sisters and I knew my parents were always there for us.  There was never a doubt in my mind about my dad’s love and loyalty to his family and it was clear from his words and his actions.  Although we lived halfway around the world from his and my mother’s families, he had a very close relationship with his parents, sisters and brothers because he took the time to write letters, call and bring us to Italy every summer he could.  Because of this, I am closer to some of my cousins in Italy than some people are to family members that live in the same state.  He always instilled in me and my sisters that we’re family and no matter how much we fight, family should always be there for each other.

2. Hard Work.  Hard worker is an understatement and probably one of the first words that anyone who knew my father would use to describe him.  He came to this country with nothing.  He took every job that came his way no matter how big or small and never complained.   He was always happy to have the opportunity to work and be able to provide for his family.  My mother and he worked as a team and made sure that we had everything we needed.

3. Kindness, Generosity and Gratitude.  I always thought that my dad became more generous as he got older and more comfortable financially.   After his passing though, I discovered (through stories told by friends and family) that these were virtues he possessed from a young age.  His sisters told me that he would come home after months working at sea full of gifts and foods for the family.  My Aunt asked him once why he didn’t save more for himself since he was looking to get married and start a family.  He replied that God had already been good to him and he felt it was his duty to pay it forward.

4.  Faith and Spirituality.  My father taught me the importance of having a moral compass in your life.  We went to church as a family every Sunday morning even when he had worked the night shift and was probably exhausted.  He often read the Bible and highlighted passages that brought him comfort even in the toughest moments of his life, like the death of his parents and two younger brothers.

My Dad has taught me so much more that I can write in one blog post.  As I head in to 2015 (albeit a little late), I hope that by focusing on these values and trying to incorporate each one of them into my life everyday as a woman, wife, mother, and friend I can be a better person and make him proud.  


4 comments:

  1. Michele this is a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to your father, whom is one of the men I admire most in my life. Your beautiful boy will have an amazing angel watching over him and I can't wait to see what this year brings for you and your family!!

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    1. Thanks so much Ana, this means so much to me.
      XO
      Michele

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  2. Michele this post was so beautiful ... you already possess all these qualities that you described your father as having. I know he is proud of the woman you are today and the amazing mother you are about to become. Your father's life , beliefs and teaching will live on in you and you will pass that on to your son.

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    1. Thank you Enza. I appreciate your words so much!
      Love you.
      Michele

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