I calculated out last Saturday that it had been 10 years since I last saw Papa Tony alive. I scarcely believed it. It doesn’t seem possible! How could 10 years have flown by that fast? I distinctly remember going to the nursing home, I just can’t remember the name — but I remember everything else about it!
That day, 10 years ago, I remember we had all piled into Daddy‘s car (which at that time was a 1991 Chevy Blazer — S10 I believe) and brought many of Papa Tony’s favorite snacks: Fig Newtons, Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake Rolls, and Good and Plenty Licorice. We also brought along some of his favorite things (like holy cards) and some Father’s Day cards. Father’s Day that year was June 15 the same day we were visiting him (or at least from what I recall).
I don’t remember our visit only that Papa Tony was now bedridden and no longer able to sit up or anything else without a lot of help. Daddy was the first to greet him in his room and eventually the one who would read the cards to him. I remember I showed him all the treats we brought and he actually was happy to see them, too That would be his last day and last Father’s Day.
June 16, 2003, came about and so did his entry into eternal life! So how is it that 10 years seem to have passed by in the blink of an eye? Is it possible that I haven’t missed him that much or just learned to accept it sooner than Daddy’s? Who knows, but what I do know is it has made me appreciate the times I spend with my family that’s left!
Today marks probably what was the 10 year anniversary of when we laid Papa Tony to his final resting place. I remember Fr. Mark was the celebrant and many memories were exchanged. I also recall that TAPS was played (as he served in WWII), my aunt (Papa Tony’s sister-in-law) had seen Papa Tony’s favorite flower (which I can’t recall now) was blooming in her front yard along with a dove which told her everything was going to be okay, and I sat next to Papa Tony’s other sister-in-law and Mom stood next to me.
I can’t say I will ever forget the last time I saw Papa Tony, I loved him. It was hard as I’m not real close to most of Daddy’s family, but some of them are (or were) some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
I’ll leave you with some photos of Papa Tony’s gravesite (which he shares with his wife — my “Granny”).
God, bless us — everyone!