Its Father’s Day-a time for burgers, barbecue, beer, and baseball. A time to thank all the great dads out there and tell ‘em you love ‘em. It’s always a holiday that’s one part sad and one part grateful for me. Sad that my dad isn’t here to celebrate and that my husband, Joe, and my son, Enzo, will never experience the aura that was him. But grateful for nineteen years of memories with a dad like no other—and also grateful for the other dads who have affected our lives, especially one in particular.
This past January, we lost our beloved Nono, my husband’s grandfather. While I am reminded of him every day, this weekend brings me back to that room where we said goodbye and the feeling of a missed opportunity to tell him how thankful I am for him in my life. I remember watching everyone in that room hugging and kissing each other, with tears in their eyes, but always with laughter. Whether it was a story about being chased with a samurai sword, or breaking Nono’s lawnmower, or about faking an ear infection just to get “boob juice” in his ear so he could catch a glimpse, it was all told with laughter and unconditional love.
There’s a quote about one’s legacy that says “It’s not what you leave for people, it’s what you leave in people.” As I held my nine-month-old son, and listened to those stories, all I could do was smile. Smile and think, Man, did he get this right.
That day in the funeral parlor was no different from my first or any other day with Nono. It was always about laughing, having fun, loving life, and being with your family.
So I want to say thank you. Thank you, Nono, for your infectious laugh, your endless jokes, your strong embrace, and your gentle love. Thank you for showing me an unparalleled family love that I had never witnessed before. Thank you for instilling this in your children, and theirs, and now ours. Thank you for a name I carry as proudly as my own father’s.
I see you every day in Joe and especially Enzo. He’s a jokester, he’s everyone’s friend, he’s loud, determined, and his personality fills the room. Quite honestly, he’s exactly you and my dad in one loveable little package that never stops. Every time I watch him being his crazy self, whether it’s commanding everyone’s attention with his bellowing voice or waving his hands in the air and stomping his feet to just about any music he hears, I know he is the both of you, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Marisa lives in West Hartford with her fun-loving husband and one-of-a-kind son, Enzo.