"For her parents being just, had instructed their daughter according to the law of Moses."
[Daniel 13:3]

 Yep!  That's me - with Mommy and Daddy (minus his cigar), my ol' Yogi Bear, my favorite little read chair and of course, that rattle in my mouth.... I love this photo as it reminds me of all the love my parents had for me throughout my life...

Both Mother's and Father's Day are such a mix of jumbled emotions...both happy and sad. Those of you who have lost your parent(s) know what I mean...bittersweet as they say...never understood that word until I lost them...

I see alot of children thanking their Dad's and Mom's online for being wonderful parents- and that is great!  I debated whether I should throw in my 2 cents and well, I decided in the positive.

It's not like I don't thank them - I do- all of the time, in fact!  But it's sure tough when they're gone.  You can't express it to them in actions, except for prayers and Masses offered for them. 

I don't think they would even care for the fact that I am writing this - in fact, if they were around, they would have told me to stop wasting my time! But despite that,  in gratitude, I write this:

Dear Dad,

As I will shortly enter into the age in which you died, Dad and realize that life has been way too short - I have too many unfinished projects-  I can't imagine leaving at this point. I have always thought, Dad, you were way too young to leave us!  I still wonder why God took you so many years ago when we still needed you?

But, today, on Father's Day, I wanted to thank you for all the things you did for our family, my mother, my sisters and me! 

For all the little things and big things!  But, most important of all, for instilling in all of us, girls, a love for the Truth Faith- the Catholic Faith!  

Goodness knows, Dad, you had a tough time trying to figure out where to put us for education...there wasn't homeschooling  at the time...probably was a good idea for Mom's sake! LOL 

It began with being pulled out of catechism classes, because the catechism was not up to par according to you and Mom.  And of course, you were both right about that!

Then, we were taken out of grade schools and high schools galore!  We all recall those episodes with laughter  - even the time, one of us - the most excitable and dramatic of the trio of girls - was thinking of jump out of the car on the expressway going 60 mph because she didn't want to go to another school! lol  But it was always only because you had the best intentions for us!  You didn't want our souls to be ruined with bad instruction and sex education! 

I do recall often all of the things we did together to help me to remember what is truly important and that is GOD, OUR FAITH, THE MASS, THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY and HER ROSARY! 

Reminiscing over my life as a child, I recall art projects we got in Religion Class in the late 60's and early 70's.  We were given those "fun" poster projects of making a poster on "What God Means to You?"  and another one I especially remember was on the topic of the Month of May or Spring.... (btw Dad, I never thought they were fun!)  

Dad, you were especially interested in these types of projects and I believe I inherited my artistic abilities from you (if I have any- haha).   When you learned about these projects, well you'd jump right in with ideas.  I remember for the May project, you "suggested" that I do a poster on Our Lady.  You pulled out some old traditional images of Our Lady- which were, of course, beautiful, yet, I cringed!  Why would I cringe at this? 

Well I had procrastinated a bit and the kids were all bringing in these psychedelic colorful  posters on Spring with butterflies and flowers and "Kumbaya" type wording on them with "Love" and "Peace" and "Flower Power".  I was all into fitting in at the time!  However, there was no protesting with you, Dad, and so I picked out the picture with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (this I thought was the prettiest of the ones offered to me!) and you helped me center the picture and then helped me to print the saying:

"In the End, My Immaculate Heart will Triumph!" 

And it was finished! 

No flowers - no extra colors!  I was mortified, but I sucked it up and brought it to school... Was I nervous!  I shakily presented it to my teacher who looked at it, smiled and to my great astonishment, looked most pleased.  I wondered what she was going to do with it as it was the biggest poster of all and most everyone's was plastered helter skelter around the room. But  surprisingly, she immediately went to her own personal cork board that only had the nicest projects that she, herself, had made and there she placed it, in the center and there it stayed for the rest of the month of May!  Not only was I more than a little relieved. I was thankful and blessed realizing Dad was right again!

Dad, you really taught me a lesson that day and I truly appreciate you teaching me those little lessons.  My life was filled with tons of them  - too many to list here and please don't think I didn't noticed these lessons because I did.  And I thank God for all of them!

Pondering this further, maybe - just maybe - God in His Infinite Wisdom believed I had just the right training to see me through the rest of my life with all you had given to me! 

BTW, I still have your catechism notes- ALL of them!  I just read them through again  a few days ago and do you know what?  I got a 100% on the the 8th Grade test! LOL- Well I know you're saying: "Big Deal Twinkle Toes!"  But, Dad, you'd have to experience being Catholic, right now- 27 yrs later to know that, well- it's sort of a big deal as I know I am in the minority!  And I say this with humble appreciation, that I am truly blessed to still have the Faith!

Oh Dad, my heart so wishes you were still here so I could continue to benefit from your wisdom, but my soul tells me that it is good that you and Mom don't have to suffer this! It is most painful to see the almost complete loss of Faith in the world....

And so I finish my little letter of gratitude to you, Dad, but it wouldn't be complete if I didn't tell you how much I miss you every day and love you more with every little cross we must carry to Keep the Faith!!!

Love your "Twinkle Toes" XO --- Miss you Dad so much!!!