Addendum

I want to add a note to that explosion of poorly-written affection that is a tribute to my Dad.

Three other dads who deserve a nod from me today:

1. Damon’s dad, John
I’ll never get to meet him, which is one of my great disappointments. He passed away when Damon was just 12. The last thing he did in this world was push Damon’s Mom and another woman to safety, not sparing himself the time to escape the accident that took his life.
Damon’s close to his Mom, but every picture I’ve seen and story I’ve heard tells me that Damon is his Dad’s son. He looks like him, he has his disposition and often references the stuff his Dad taught him while he was growing up. He is probably the biggest influence on who Damon is today as a man and a husband, and it’s a testament to how what we do with our kids lives on and affects other people who we’ll never even see.

2. My stepdad, Jerry
He didn’t marry my Mom until I was in college. And even though he and I have never lived under the same roof, he immediately embraced me as his daughter. He’s been unfailingly generous and loving. He doesn’t have any other kids, so I’m constantly knocked out by his ability to know how to treat me like he raised me. I trust him totally and am full of gratitude for his presence in my life.

3. My Grandpa, Cosmo
He was old school conservative Italian all the way. He was the only true patriarch I’ve ever known. When his brother died, leaving four kids behind, Grandpa stepped in and treated them like his own kids. Without comment. Because that’s what families do. And when my cousin Carmeline’s husband hit her it was my Grandpa who went over and dragged him bodily out the front door and told him he was done being in this family. There was never a discussion or an intervention, Grandpa just did what the family leader was supposed to do. He took care of his whole clan. He taught me that blood is thicker than EVERYTHING. He also used to tell me, “Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you’re not an Italian girl” because he was worried that I would suffer because my Mom had the bad sense to marry someone who wasn’t 100% Sicilian.

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