In Memory

My father passed this week after 91 years on this earth. So ends his existence in this form, but he lives on in others. One such form is in memory and this goes back and forward in time. But for now, I choose, or it may be chosen for me, to remember…

His sacrifice for his children. His work ethic and his pride in never missing a day’s pay…

The tree, the wall, and baseball in Bronx Park. The tingle of the wooden bat. The smell of leather. His smile when I made contact.

Lime soda fizzing on my lips at the Cup and Saucer, a diner he owned for a brief time in New York.

Sitting in his lap while he drove the old Suburban in the city streets, letting me take the wheel…

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How he’d prepare a meal and would wait for everyone to comment on the food with a word or a look. He’d say, “You can’t get that at a restaurant!” To which I’d playfully return, “No, you can’t.” (Not any establishment still in business anyway…)

The basement parties in the Bronx and how he’d expertly dance the Lindy with whomever would dare…

His amazing voice and the bits and pieces I got of him dueting with Sinatra, taking the bass on “Old Man River.”

How he treed a teenager who dared to mess with his daughter.

His strength…

His heart…

How he would turn me into a stand-up bass and play on my stomach to Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey.

How he put up with me those days he brought me to work on his truck. And the mysterious swarm of co-habitating bees flying around on that truck that never stung him.

His voice above the crowd when I made a good play.

When the dads took over at the Cub Scout jamboree and played softball. Watching him hit bombs over everyone’s heads.

The move upstate out of New York City and knowing you picked out an apartment that allowed dogs—and that you could never give up our faithful pooch, Rocky.

The 3:30 AM wake-up call and his morning rituals with mom. Quiet. Eggs, toast or oatmeal, sometimes Wheaties. The strong smell of coffee. A sweet and heart-felt kiss good-bye.

Kissing and hugging mom when he came home.

But what I will remember most is my father dancing with my mother. Two become one to the music and everything that is good in life. His smile as he led mom, and her following and leaning in effortlessly, trusting every twist and turn. Mom’s smile and her eyes closed as he caught her knowing he would never miss. He’d always be there. Always on beat in the momentary lightness of life. He and mom in the flow of Beauty, Grace, Trust and Love.

And all of us hoping the song doesn’t end.

Rest in Peace…

One thought on “In Memory

  1. So sorry John and once again, your eloquent words…. I can close my eyes and envision the past in my own home during those sacred moments❤️

    Like

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About Dr. John Panepinto

Direction. Execution. Evolution. Each day can be an expression of living with purpose and focusing on what matters most. My sites share this theme of vision, living in our most important roles and responsibilities from imagination and creativity in a simple, practical way. I am committed to educating and serving, founded in principles of development, that people can use and practice in their every day lives.