November is always the time I especially remember my Dad. He wasn’t famous or rich in financial terms but rather was a kind, honest and loving man. He was a hard-working man. He loaded freight on trucks except they never had the fork lifts but rather he had a hand cart or dollie to load the trucks. He started out working in Washington, PA but then the company moved to the North Side of Pittsburgh. His hours were always the evening shift from 4p.m. to 1 a.m. He never complained.
Weekends were our special time. As a child, Sunday morning I would always curl up on his lap and he would read the comics to me. Then, after I learned to read I would read them to him. I was an only child so he also taught me my love of sports. He took me to a couple of Pirate games, taught me to keep score and played baseball in our back yard. He also helped with my math homework as he was amazing teaching me shortcuts to solving what I thought were impossible math problems. I was never permitted to have a part-time job in high school. He always said school was my job. We always disagreed on that point and I finally got my first job once I graduated high school prior to me entering college. He also enforced a curfew -11p.m. and dates had to be gone by 11:30. I can remember being 19 and in the living room talking with my boyfriend and suddenly hearing a shoe banging on the living room ceiling. 10 minutes later my Dad appeared in the living room and told my boyfriend it was time to leave.
I went to Carlow which is in Pittsburgh for two years and would go over to visit my dad at his work on the North Side of Pittsburgh during his lunch break. It helped to lessen my homesickness and we were able to visit at least once a week. He offered me his advice and love. Along with my mom, he was always my biggest supporter
He never told me but I think we both had a dream of him walking me down the aisle. Unfortunately due to some poor thinking on my part that dream never became reality . He never was at my wedding and I will never forget the hurt in his eyes when I saw him for the first time after I married. Still he was there for me and gave me the hugs and love. He never uttered any words of hurt or disappointment. Talk about unconditional love.
Soon he not only was a dad but also a Grandfather or Pap Pap as my children called him. I lived 6 hours away when my first child was born but we did move back for good soon after my second was born. He and my mom took them everywhere and their world revolved around both of my kids. Here is a picture of them when they were small
I was so fortunate to have 2 parents who helped me by watching my children so I could go back to nursing school.
My dad wasn’t perfect and probably one of his biggest faults was his dislike of doctors. His thought process was doctors only wanted to put you on medicine and most of it was a waste of money. I was a nurse and there was no convincing him otherwise.
November 20, 1989 started like any other day. My mom and dad were going uptown and I needed some papers copied for school (at that time I was an RN going for my BSN). They dropped me off at the copy store and I gave him a hug and kiss and told him I loved him. I had to take the bus home and then my mom was going to take me to work. We only had 1 car and I was working 3-11. Around 1:30 I received a frantic call from my mom. The only thing I could make out was Dad and dead. I lived a block away but I felt like I was never going to get to their house. When I got there he was slumped in his chair. I tried to get him on the floor but was unable so I tried to do CPR in the recliner. The paramedics came but he had a massive MI and passed away before any treatment could be rendered.
I still miss my Dad. I think of him not only because November being the anniversary of his death but also Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. Again I will think of him as the turkey is carved. Also Dad, I will eat some cold stuffing just like we did every Thanksgiving. I love you Dad