July 8th 2015 will be forever a date I dislike. It just still doesn’t seem real that my Dad is no longer with us. My heart will forever be heavy and people say time heals but I have yet to experience that yet. I don’t think I ever will. I do want to pass on things he has taught me and memories that I will forever cherish so I have setup this site for that purpose.
A few things about my dad:
He loved Courtroom Movies and TV Shows (One of our favorites was My Cousin Vinny)
He could paint.
He loved photography and videography. He even had his own dark room equipment.
He loved God, His Wife, His Family, and his Country (In that order)
He really enjoyed his job and the people he worked with.
Below are some saying of his and commentary by me. Most of these are life lessons and things he passed down to me as important in his life.
- God should always be number one in your life. My dad was very private with his faith for the most part and liked to be behind the scenes in life as well as in church. Some of my earliest memories with my dad was always being at church like it was a home away from home for us. Going to church every single week or actually every time the doors were open was very important to my dad and serving in the church was equally important. I can’t remember a time since I was 5 that we haven’t been serving in a church in some capacity as a family. He is the one that shared his passion of sound and video with me and some of my favorite memories were doing productions at church or working on a video project together. His attention to detail and excellence has been passed down and taught to many people that knew him.
- Freedom is worth fighting for and you should care about politics. I think my dad always regretted not being in the military but he was so proud of his dad and spoke very highly of that generation that fought in World War II. My dad loved politics and Rush Limbaugh. I remember every Friday when I was a kid we would go to businesses and sell cookies and brownies that mom had made to help us pay for our schoolbooks since we were home schooled. That was the highlight of my week because I got to listen to Open Line Friday on the Rush Limbaugh program with him in the car. I still find myself tuning into that program when I am in the car. Dad even carried around a pocket constitution with him. He loved his country and the freedom we all enjoy and always taught us to vote early and vote often! He made sure we understood it was a privilege to vote and not a right and people died for us to have the freedom we have.
- Family is important. I think this is the Italian in us in fact the week he died we spoke about our Italian heritage and how much he loved his family. Growing up he worked so hard to provide a good life for us and we weren’t able to visit extended family as often as we would like but about once a year the entire family would get together and that seemed to always be when he was happiest.
- My dad taught me how to fight. Not in the typical sense although he did try to teach me to fight when I was a kid but thankfully I never had to use the training. I get my stubbornness from him. It’s not always a good quality of mine but he sure did teach me how to not back down from a fight and to give it all you’ve got.
- If something is worth doing, do it right and correctly. My dad was never one to cut corners. If you had a job to do it was your responsibility to know the best most efficient way to do the job. He was very meticulous and paid attention to the details. He felt that you should do the job the right way the first time so you would not have to revisit the same issue again.
- Measure twice and cut once! I think he may have gotten this from his dad who was very talented in carpentry work but I remember him telling me this all the time. This goes back to doing things right the first time.
- Find a job doing what you love and you will never work a day in your life! I know this quote has been attributed to numerous people over the years, but my dad is the first person I ever heard say it so I am attributing it to him. He really believed this. I know when I was growing up he didn’t have a job he loved and I realize now we struggled growing up but he truly worked his butt off to provide a great future for us. In his recent years working as a Project Tech for Rite Aid, he truly did love what he did and I know this quote was real for him. He died coming back from a job, doing what he loved to do.
- It’s not what you say but how you say it. Man he would tell me this ALL the time. Even the week before he died he told me this. I still have not mastered it though. I still need to work on this in my life. He always let me speak freely to him. When things would get heated between us, he would always tell me, it’s not what you say but how you say it. He is still trying to teach me that.
- Never stop learning. My dad never thought he had all the answers to any subject (except maybe sniping in Call of Duty) He always felt you could learn more about anything. Google was a good friend of his. I know many times I would call him for advice and the first thing we would ask, did you Google it? I find myself doing that to other people a lot too. The last conversation I had with dad was his advice on LED light bulbs. He knew almost all there was to know about them, color temperature variations, brand to buy, where they were cheapest etc. He never was presented a problem that he could not find the answer to.
- Protect the equipment at all costs! My dad used to tell me the camera equipment or sound equipment costs more than I did. He made sure to over exaggerate this to always respect tools and your equipment to do a job. Many times we worry about the COST of something and not the VALUE of something. He was always one to buy the best of everything because he felt it was a good investment to buy a great product than a mediocre product that wouldn’t last as long. He took pride in his tools and equipment and expected the same from me. I can say I didn’t grasp this fully until he was gone. Now the value of his tools means more to me than the cost of them.
- Always get the shot. My dad was one of the most focused videographers/photographers I have ever known. He would tell me the often when I was learning to run camera. You have to ignore what is going on around you and focus on what’s coming through the viewfinder. I can apply that to my everyday life and leave the distractions aside and focus on the important things in life. You can’t be distracted with surrounded and lose focus of the shot.
- Never ever quit! If you committed to something, follow through to the end. Even if you feel like quitting, don’t. He used to tell me never use the word can’t. He always made me feel like I could do anything but if I started something, he wouldn’t let me quit.
- Be Generous! My dad rarely told anyone no when someone asked him for something. I think he used up all his “no’s” on me as a child. Yes, dad helped plenty in church but he also would stop and help someone on the side of the road. Or he would give people a ride to church or let my cousin live with us for a few years. He was one of the most generous people I met and truly knew the gift of giving.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. You have to overcome fear sometimes. My dad always encouraged me to try new things yet he had a hard time actually doing this one himself. Most of the time, the new things we had to try were new foods etc. One of the things I remember him making me try was Anchovies on pizza. Low and behold, that is one of my favorite things now. A full house special from BJ’s Pizza! All in all, the lesson here is, you won’t know unless you try.
- How to be a great husband. My dad would be the first to admit he made mistakes as we were growing up. I know that in recent years, I have watched my dad be the most amazing husband to my mom. Maybe because I was watching more now that I am married and was looking to him but he was a great example. A few weeks before the accident, he shared his Bible reading plan on YouVersion with me and most of the scripture he highlighted were about how you should treat your wife. Many Sunday’s I would go to their house to eat and open a cabinet to get a plate of food and he had written a love note to my mom. Actually, the day of the accident, he wrote a note and left it by mom’s bed. Almost as if he knew what was going to transpire. Which leads me to the next one….
- Life is short. Life is but a vapor. You never know when your loved ones will be called home. I would give anything to have even 1 more minute with my dad to tell him things I wish I had told him. We aren’t promised tomorrow. I do know that I will see him again one day. Dad was one of the best men I have ever known. I love you Dad!