Tuesday, September 12, 2006

For John Scalzi's Photo Shoot: Profiles

John Scalzi John Scalzi's - Your Monday Photo Shoot: Profiles has asked for entries in profile only.  I have alot of those - here's one. 

The man in the photo is my dear Father, around 1984.  His name was John Frances.  From the earliest times I can remember he taught me about music, art, history  and how to be a decent human being.  My Father was my closest, dearest friend, my ideal man, and once my raison de vive (reason to live) during a deep dark depression I once suffered with.  Without a doubt, he was my true hero.

Everyone loved "Uncle John", they were helpless not to.  He was overly generous with everything, and in his wholesale business not far from where I now live, other than his regular customers he helped people who knew where to go when hungry.  He'd walk a half block from his two large warehouses and separate office, go into the butcher's and make huge sandwiches for the homeless men who'd walk in, plus a bit of money.  My Father knew it would be spent on wine most likely, and I always wondered about that so once, while doing his taxes, I asked why he did it. He explained since he was no social worker, all he could do was feed them and give them money and it was their business, not his, what they did with it.  He was a realist and a romantic, never judging anyone.  My Father truly believed in helping others any way possible, and this is how he lived.   

When this picture was taken, neither he nor any of us knew our beloved "Captain" would be diagnosed with prostate cancer in two years, 1986.  He lived with all the operations, the radiation and chemo, the loss of all privacy, the tremendous loss of weight, and his basic wasting away.  It was not his plan to die like that in 1988 at the painfully young age of 67.  He insisted I not visit him as he preferred to "wait until I'm better so we can take that cruise to Italy".  It was our lifelong promise to each other, that European cruise.  Cancer took him on 9/9/88.  It took my mother on her birthday, 7/24/05 when she turned 82.  It took my Aunt Suzie, my cousin Lou-Lou, my SIL Jody, her brother, and to go on would be useless there're so many I loved who lost the good fight.  And like so many I've met here, they were brave, courageous and decent people who endured their lot without complaint.  I thought my hero would live into his 80's easily, but it was my Mother who did.  My hero was cheated out of so many good years.   

Dad loved to cook, and did it well, inventing many signature dishes.  Since my Mother wasn't much of a cook, she simply left it to him and that was fine.  Nor was she a very good house-keeper, but since the Army taught him neatness he preferred doing it himself, joking about our lack of "order".  My Mother always had a house keeper, but he'd clean even if something sparkled - we'd joke right back.  He was very house-proud, having had our huge home custom-built where eventually 8 children grew up without material want.

When my parents would play and sing their duets, I would quietly sit to the side where they couldn't really see me, relaxing deep into a big chair and watching them, smiling, just soaking up this unusual pairing, where the only time they could be civil was during these musical moments.  I made requests, always loved to applaud and whistle, call out "Encore! Encore!" and laughed seeing them so affected by someone being there, listening, appreciating, involved.

There's so much more I could say about my Father but suffice to say I never met anyone else who came close to his brilliant light, his keen mind, clever wit and great loving heart.  Lord, do I miss him.       

   

12 comments:

angelm0304 said...

What a wonderful touching entry.  Your father was indeed a wonderful man.  I have spent my whole life dreaming of a father as wonderful as yours.  My dad walked out on my mom when she was pregnant  with  me and would not get an abortion so I have never known my father.  
Your entry brought tears to my eyes.  How sad that Cancer had to take your father from you.   Cancer is very scary.  I am so scared of loosing someone to cancer.
Hugs,
Angel

valphish said...

Oh, Cathy, I am so glad I got to hear about your hero here!  You have obviously taken on alot of his traits!  How you must miss him.  And you will see him again... I am so sorry you lost him the way you did.  I would have loved to meet him in person.  He is now someone I look forward to meeting in heaven.  What a special man the earth had walking on it at one time!  Such a nice tribute this is...
Love ya, your sis, Val xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

hugsdoodlewacky said...

(((((((((((((((((((((LUDDIE)))))))))))))))))))))What a beatiful entry,you had such a loving father,who was decated to is family,His work and the homeless.He was a proud man,ans I am sure He is looking down on you with His wife at His side,knowing you grown into a beatiful young lady.thank you for sharing.god bless you.Have a wonderful day,

princesssaurora said...

I am so sorry for the early loss of your dad... he sounds like mine... a real hero.

be well,
Dawn

maxsox5 said...

Your DAD was a marvelous person.I lost mine at his age 69 and Mom is now 80.We all expected her to go first because she has heart trouble.But Dad got cancer and didn't make it through it.mom has had cancer about 5 times since his passing and still she fights on.She claims she is ready to go home and be with her Lord and Daddy,but I don't know what I'd do without her there on the other end of the phone when I need my mom.I know how you feel ,my Dad spoiled with me ,not with 'things' but with his gentleness and guiding hand.take care
~connie~

xxroxymamaxx said...

What a loving, moving tribute to your father!  I enjoyed it very much!  Hugs and GBU, Shelly

lurkynat said...

lovely tribute Cathy!
hugs,natalie

queenb8261 said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father. Bravo.
Barb  

jmorancoyle said...

    Very nice tribute to your Dad.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

queeniemart said...

i am almost in tears...what a tribute!! I am so happy that you had a father such as you did..he sounds like heaven......what an angel he was and i am sorry he was gone so soon.
XO lisa

iiimagicxx said...

Oh Cathy... your feelings are so deep and loving for your father, your hero. I missed having ever met such a hero in my life, my hero, and since my life experience seems to have revealed to me how important the love of a father is and remains for their daughters, even when the years have passed on. I do believe that the love of a father is an absolute necessecity to ensure good relationships with other men, for all the little girls. Many successful women were those who were very close to and loved by their fathers.
Lovely tribute and memories. A humanist and lovely man he was.
Valerie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/iiimagicxx/surreality/

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