My dad would have been 72 today.
He died several years ago. Before I had Julia. Before Julia was even conceived. He didn’t know he would be a grandfather. In fact, the fact that he was a father was a surprise to him too!
My dad didn’t know about me until 1995 when, after many, many years of looking (an amazing story of fate and magic best given its own post) I found him.
He didn’t know about me even existing. I was the result of a love affair between an American GI stationed in Northern Italy and an Italian girl who found him irresistibly funny. In fact, my aunt (his sister) says I have his irreverent, sarcastic sense of humor.
Anyway, he could have reacted in any number of ways to the news that he had a daughter. But he and his family (including his wife, his sister and his mom) COMPLETELY EMBRACED ME and WELCOMED ME into their lives. He’d never had other children. But even if he had, I know his reaction would have been as open and loving. He was that kind of guy.
I only knew him for a handful years. And am grateful for that time. But it wasn’t enough. I wish he could be here to see his granddaughter who, when she smiles, I see him in her. I wish he could be here to see my achievements– the greatest of which is Julia. I know he would be proud of her. And of me too, for the mom I’ve become.
Happy Birthday, Dad! Oh…and I want to thank you for that irreverent and sarcastic sense of humor! Randy…not so much.