Thirty six years ago....honestly, I can't believe I did anything that long ago!....so,
36 long years ago, my siblings and I made this certificate for my Dad on Father's Day.
Well, Dad, we were blessed to be fathered by you for 31 more years after that Father's Day.
We can't believe you have been gone from this earth for five years now.
Maybe that is because you are not really gone.
In our hearts, in our memories, in our imaginations you live on.
We still share Steve Puccio stories,
we still learn from the memory of your life spent in love and self sacrifice for your family and friends.
I can still see you coming home from work after a long day,
I can still see you Saturday mornings, under the car fixing it yet again, behind the washing machine or out in the yard.
I can still remember the sound of Vin Scully on the radio as you listened to the Dodgers while doing all that work.
I can still see you taking such good care of your cousin Marian.
I can still see you sitting on the end of my bed apologizing for losing your temper, and I still learn the great gift of forgiveness from that act.
I can still see you vacuuming out my car quickly before I went back to my little apartment in Redondo.
These days we picture you sweeping the front porch of heaven and reassuring St. Peter that the yard will be in tip top shape before the next saint comes through the gate.
And now, my own kids honor their father on Father's Day. And I thank God, and the example of my own Dad, that I had the wisdom to choose such a great father for my kids.
Jim, the decision to say "yes" to you was the best one I made in my life.
Thank you for almost fifteen years of marriage and almost fourteen years of parenthood.
UPDATE: I failed to tell the story of how I came across the 1979 Certificate. I found it about 6 months ago in a frame that I was getting rid of. It was behind several layers of photos. For all I know it has been there since 1979!