Over the last year I have written so much about my mom, I have written her letters on here. Talked about her death. Written posts about how much I miss her. Somebody reading might think I didn't have a dad. Oh I did have a dad. The BEST dad in the whole world. A dad who called me 'baby' until he died when I was 23 years old. A dad who loved his kids so much. He was an awesome man who loved his family and his culture with a passion. To look at him one would think he was a 'made' man in some east coast Italian mafia. He wasn't, he just liked to look the part. He had a temper, don't get me wrong but mostly he was a pushover who just wanted things around him to be peaceful. He hated confrontation but admired people who could say something when they felt they had been wronged. He also loved music. Oh how he loved jazz music imparticular. He would listen to a song that he really liked with his eyes closed. He would just get lost in the saxaphone. He could put headphones on and tune the rest of the world out. He passed on his love of music to all of his kids. Mike was the only one that played an instrument but our love of music is still a huge part of our lives. I am so glad that he taught me to appreciate music. I love listening to music that reminds me of my dad. There are so many songs that make me think of him.
Here are some interesting facts about my dad: He was an identical twin and although both his parents came from really big families (20 siblings between them) they only had the twins, some speculate because those two were enough for anyone. I guess they were a handful when they were young. I mean I know my dad was, he himself became a father at 16... yes at the tender age of 16 he and his girlfriend had a baby... my brother Danny.
Have you ever seen the movie 'Hope Floats'? You know the part when Sandra Bullock says 'the daddy did all the hugging' when she is talking about her childhood... well that is my story too. My dad was the nurturer. He was the one who held my hair back when I was getting sick. He rubbed Vick's vapor rub on my chest when I had a cold and couldn't breathe. He was the one I went to when my boyfriend and I broke up and I was heartbroken. My mom wasn't that person at that time in my life, she wanted me to 'get over' things. My dad understood. He took care of me. He was the taxi for me and my friends, driving us to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, the mall... where ever. I was his youngest, his baby.
By the time he had died he had buried four of his own children and both his parents, his heart was broken and no matter how much he loved me, Danny and my mom he couldn't be here with us anymore. He had to go be with those he lost. The children he lost and missed so much. The parents that were his world for so long. It was a difficult time for so many of us. It hadn't been that long since we had lost my brother Mike and we were all still reeling from that pain. Looking back I wonder if that took some of the focus off of losing my dad. It was still part of our every day conversation, we were still mourning the tragic, sudden loss of my 26 year old brother. We weren't ready to start mourning somebody else... not even my dad.
Tomorrow would be his birthday. He and my Uncle Don would be 76 tomorrow. It's hard to believe. Hard to imagine what they would even look like at that age. My dad died young, we lost him when he was just 57 years old. He only ever met two of his grandchildren, their are three more now. Three more grandchildren that are being taught about their grandpa through pictures and memories. My brother and I are both so good about telling our kids about our father. We both miss him and we both have great memories of him. We are so far apart in age that our own memories of him are so different, he was a different dad to me than he was to Danny, and in a way it's kind of a good thing because we each learn something different about him when we share our stories.
I miss my dad every single day. I think about him every day and sometimes can hear his voice. I look in the mirror and I see him. I look at my brother, and my nephew and I see him. I hope that I do him justice when I tell my kids about him, I hope that they get it, that they know what a truly amazing man he was. I know my two oldest nieces get it, they have memories of him and pictures of him with them when they were young. Those are precious memories that those girls are so glad to have. I can only hope that the rest of the kids get it. Ron Sabella was an awesome father, grandfather, brother, friend, son and husband. Those who knew him loved him.
Happy Birthday Dad. I love you and miss you very much.