The Son Becomes the Father
This is my first Father's Day without my Father.
After fighting hard all of his life, he finally rested on December 27, 2012. Anthony Peter Giordano was almost 73 years young.
I've always been proud of my Dad. Even as his health waned he exuded strength, will and passion. And my pride for him grew immensely.
My Father and Mother worked so hard to provide my brother Anthony, sister Mary and I with an environment that surrounded us with family, love, and fun. Mom and Dad never stopped treating us like children -- I mean this in the best way possible…even as adults they worked hard to guide us, please us, protect us, teach us, and keep us loved, in the warm embrace of our family. Their generosity knew no bounds. Even when I lived 3000 miles away, I always felt like I was home.
My Dad set the best example of how to be a man, husband and father.
To honor my Dad on this Father's Day, I'm sharing a letter I wrote and read to him during one of my visits to see him at the end of last year.
You Taught us to Be Careful.
Dad, you always tell all of us to be "Be Careful", whether you are leaving us after visiting or if we are leaving you and Mom after a visit. For most of my life I took this sentiment as a caution, to be careful, to watch and be thoughtful of my surroundings. But I've come to understand that when you say "Be Careful" you are also asking us to be Care - Full, or "Full of Care", to treat others like we would like to be treated, to put ourselves in those of others and better understand and appreciate the other person's perspective and expectations. To care deeply for other people and their point of view. You are the best example of someone who is full of care for your family, friends, and everyone else you meet. Because of you, we are better at being Care-Full with our family, friends and colleagues at work. You've taught us how to put others first, ahead of ourselves. You lead by example.
You Taught us to Put Family First.
Though you are ill now, you still put Mom and your children first. Your thoughts are filled with what should be done to make sure everyone else is taken care of. We will always take care of each other, and the three of us will take care of you and Mom. And together, we'll get through all of life's challenges. On top of this, you carry an immense amount of pride in your family. You share stories about us with family and friends, almost to the point of embarrassment. That pride you carry is so dear and so deep, it fills us with pride and more importantly confidence - enabling us to care for our own families and be proud of them as well. When we tell stories and brag about our own kids, I always remember how you would tell stories about us to family, friends, even people at work. I now understand how good it feels to be proud of your children.
You Taught us to Work Smart and Hard.
I love that you taught us how to work at a young age. I love telling stories about going to work with you and Anthony. You pushed our limits and taught us that without sincere effort, we wouldn't reach our goals. You taught us how to appreciate what we earn in exchange for our effort. You taught us to always Do the Right Thing and to always Do Things Right. Because of you, I feel a great sense of pride about my childhood and I carry that pride into my own work…it is a sincere source of confidence for me. I think about you every day at work when I ask myself: "What would Dad do?"
You Created a Legacy.
Dad - hopefully you can tell that we are so very proud of you. You have always been there for us, and have never let any of us down. You don't let anything stop you from doing what you wanted to do, setting the best example of how to live a life to its fullest extent. You taught us how to live our lives by caring for others, always doing the right thing, working hard for our goals, and celebrating our accomplishments.
Dad, you have taught me how to be a man, a father, and a husband - and that's the most important thing a Dad can do.
And because of that, this great legacy of yours will live on in us, in our children, in their children, and so on. Forever.
We Love You Dad. Happy Father's Day.