A father for Father’s Day

Maybe I am just one of those unexplained mysteries in life. Maybe because I always wondered about my biological father. Maybe that is why I have been so lucky in my life having two “fathers”.

My sons’ father is the best father and grandfather I have ever seen.  His unconditional love, his self-sacrificing dedication and his ability to keep giving and giving can not be denied.  I believe that the word, “no” is just not a word to him.  He has always said “yes” to the needs of his children, and for that matter to me as well.  Fathers like Rocco are rare, but I know there are a few out there. For instance, my son, Rocky is a dad like his father.  He has the same inner ability to love his daughter so completely and unconditionally. As she grows, I hope she realizes more and more how very wonderful he is and how dedicated he is to her.

My “dad”and my “brother” raised me to be a person who is true to herself, kind to others, and to care about the world around me. My “dad” passed when I was sixteen years old.  My brother is still the one I look to for answers.  Whether or not he reaizes it, he is still the one I depend on.

Today I want to tell you about my brother, Tommy.

If one could picture the life of a person when they were a child and to realize that what they have been through is no life for any child, then they would know that the man I know as Tommy, who came out of that life better and stronger, is in itself miraculous.  They would know that this wonderful man is the most selfless, loving, hard-working man that was ever born.

It was a tough life when my brother was a small child.   His father was an alcholic and the venom from this sickness took its ugly poison out on my brother and his siblings.  Without going into too much detail, let me suffice to say Tommy took the brunt of that venom.  It became so bad that for a time his mom sent him to live for awhile to her sister so he could escape the onslaught. When I was born Tommy was ten years old.

I turned seven when I first started to notice who it was that was nurturing me and making sure I had everything I needed, like food, clothing and shelter. Tommy was now seventeen and graduated High School.  He was also the protector for my “mom” and me.  Ever since he was able to work he made sure our mom and me were taken care of.

Life wasn’t all bad. He was also a prankster and a loyal friend.  Some of the funniest episodes I ever heard were about the pranks my brother would pull on his family, friends and co-workers.  When our sister, Joanie passed away at the age of twenty-nine from complications after brain surgery to remove a tumor, she left two small babies behind.  One was two years old and the other was six months.  While their dad had to keep working, my mom took them in to live with us in our six room tenement apartment in Park Slope.  They spent Monday through Friday with us and their dad took them on the weekends.  Tommy immediately took on the role of dad to them during those days and had always taken that role on for me.  Yes, our siblings helped as well.  There was after all, eight of us altogether. I was the youngest.  I recall Tommy taking us to the World’s Fair in Flushing, Delancy Street in Manhattan for clothes, and to the local theatre for movies, etc. If we had any treats or toys it was Tommy who bought them. When the boys turned seven and five, their dad remarried a wonderful woman named Eileen. Together they brought the boys to live with them, of course, leaving us left us with  heavy hearts because they were more like brothers and sons to us.  Years later we now know that it was best for them to leave and have a life with their own dad and stepmom.  However, I was still there and Tommy became more like a dad to me than ever and when “daddy” died, it was Tommy who pulled me through just as he did when we lost “mommy” and then did the same when we lost two more of our sisters and our niece. He pulled me out of so many childhood and young adulthood mistakes. He helped me when sickness befell my baby boy, he helped me when I thought I would sink from financial disaster. I cannot recall one time in life good or bad when Tommy wasn’t right there, or just a phone call away.  He is the one constant in my life.  The person to whom I owe everything.

By now you must have surmised why I chose to write this Father’s Day tribute to my wonderful brother Tommy.  There just isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or even talk to him.  He has always been my confidant, my advisor, my father in every sense of the word.  Even though I am a grown woman, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend..none of those titles would have been possible without Tommy in my life.  He is officially “my brother” but everything he has ever done for me is something a great dad would do.  So I want to tell him Happy Father’s Day and that even though he chose not to have children of his own, he has helped raise and has given to all his sisters, nieces and nephews so very much that the title Father belongs to him.

He never truly gets the recognition and appreciation for everything he has always done from his heart, so this small tribute is my way of saying thank you with all my heart for being the best real Dad I never really had.

Happy Father’s Day, Tommy.

And that’s the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.

K

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day 2014

First and foremost, A happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers in my life!

It has been said so many, many times almost any man can be a biological father, but it takes a “special man” to be a true father in every sense of the word. I happen to know a few in both categories. Today I will tell you about those fathers who are worth writing about, those men who show love to their children on a daily basis, those very “special men” who have touched a child’s life in such a profound way that the child grows into a productive, caring adult. These fathers are worth the time and effort every single day!

I never knew my biological father, only his name.  I was given an old blurry  picture of him once and I still look at it every now and again.  To be honest, I don’t even know why I care.  He didn’t seem to care about my biological mother nor me.  He just let her fend for herself.  However, I was one of the lucky ones.  I had a couple of  “fathers” in my life, so I always had a daddy.  One was my grandfather and the other my brother.  These very special men taught me values and gave of themselves to me every single day.  Their love for me still shines in my heart like a beacon that guides my every step.  Their advice resonates within my mind in every decision and/or choice I have to face.  It matters not to me what they did in life other than be my guiding lights.  I don’t know what would have become of me, if I did not know these special men, if they somehow were not thrown into my path, they took on the responsibility of taking care of me daily.  They taught me, they nurtured me, they advised me, they guided me and most of all, they loved me.

Deep down my wish is that every female child born in this world could experience and feel the love that I felt from these special men and from that, love by choice, have a way out of an imperfect life.  By far my life has been anything but “perfect” but because of my “fathers”, my life has been worthwhile and basically a fairly happy one.  I married a man who is a biological father and he is as good and as solid as the men in my life were and are.  He loves his children unconditionally and he is there for them every single day of their lives.  He is a true example of the label father.  I feel blessed and lucky that the fathers who have been directly involved in my upbringing have been men to admire, love and look up to.  These men have surely earned the title of daddy and welcome it wholeheartedly.

I also know many men who are biological fathers, but are not truly fathers.  Those men should be ashamed for there is nothing more precious nor sacred in life than the birth of your own child.  Yet, those men have made a choice to do little or nothing for their children. They choose to neglect their children instead of nurturing them. I pray that they wake up and realize what a precious responsibility and blessing they have been given.  I know men, who by no choice of their own, cannot have children, yet they make a choice to have a child in other ways and those men that I know, who have made this choice, are among the best fathers on the face of this planet.  They are more loving, more concerned, and more caring than if the children they father were from their own bodies.  Those men are angels sent from above and of that I have no doubt. I know men who are  single fathers, who either by divorce, death or separation are the kind of father every child wishes he or she had.  These men never relinquish their responsibility.  They don’t stop loving the child because the mother is not with them. They don’t neglect their children.  I have witnessed all of these men throughout my life.  Those experiences have given me an insight into what a father should be and can be.  If a man is truly a father their children will know it, remember it and cherish it, even if that man is not their biological father.  No matter what mistakes a child makes in life, if they have had a father they will get past those mistakes and they will live a life that is full, a life that gives back, a life that realizes love can be unconditional.  To have a father is to have a precious blessing and I truly feel very blessed for all the fathers in my life.

So I wish a very Happy Father’s Day to all those dads who have made a difference.  May you all always have the best in life.  May you all always feel love, compassion and joy each and every day.

That’s The Way I See It here in Brooklyn.

“I’ll Remember”

Mmmm, mmmm
Say good-bye to not knowing when
The truth in my whole life began
Say good-bye to not knowing how to cry
You taught me that

And I’ll remember the strength that you gave me
Now that I’m standing on my own
I’ll remember the way that you saved me
I’ll remember

Inside I was a child
That could not mend a broken wing
Outside I looked for a way
To teach my heart to sing

And I’ll remember the love that you gave me
Now that I’m standing on my own
I’ll remember the way that you changed me
I’ll remember

I learned
To let go
Of the illusion that we can possess
I learned
To let go
I travel in stillness
And I’ll remember
Happiness
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)
Mmmmm… (I’ll remember)
Mmmmm…

And I’ll remember the love that you gave me
Now that I’m standing on my own
I’ll remember the way that you changed me
I’ll remember

No I’ve never been afraid to cry
Now I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)
No I’ve never been afraid to cry
Now I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)
No I’ve never been afraid to cry
And I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)
No I’ve never been afraid to cry
And I finally have a reason why
I’ll remember (I’ll remember)

 
Writer(s): Madonna
Copyright: Webo Girl Publishing Inc., WB Music Corp.

K