Monday, July 17, 2017

I Kind of Hate July 16.........

.......which is why I'm writing this on the 17th.
I couldn't bring myself to do it yesterday.

I really shouldn't though....
Hate that day.
That blackened square on the calendar in 1993.
Because it is the day a miracle happened.
The day for which  our Savior suffered and died.:
It's the day my Dad  entered into  his Eternal Reward.

The day God invited him to come Home.
Selfishly, I so hate it -  he was taken from us.
Joyfully, I recognize, of course, that Dad's suffering was 
finally, finally,  over.
And that a lifetime of living for the Lord would grant him
his hard- earned salvation.
And once home from the cemetery , Mom said....
Well that was the longest wake I hope any of us ever attend.

We came to refer to Dad's illness as  a three year long vigil of waiting,
 watching and railing against God
Didn't he do enough? Give enough? Be enough?
That he should be stripped of his memories.
That he should need to  search for his family in his last days,
when we were all right there by him.

In time, our anger was assuaged. The ravages on our souls faded some,
what with the day to day demands of life, obligations, responsibilities.

 But the emptiness still remains.
And although I do hate the day that was his last here with us,
I'm in awe of the miracle that is our Faith.
The redemption that dad finally received for his worldly  77 year journey

<Erasmus Hall HS 1935>

This is a man who....

~grew up in Brooklyn, son of an Irish immigrant
whose mom gave him an Italian name so he '"wouldn't stand out."
Yes, he was one of a couple of dozen "Vincents"
on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn! 
But he was the only one with the dead-giveaway- Irish surname.

~ never went to college, but was the most intelligent, 
quick thinker I ever knew.

~was abandoned by his own dad at a young age and so, 
grew up to be the father he never had to his own five kids

~ enlisted in The War in December 1941, following FDR's 
" A Day hat will Live in Infamy" speech..
Because that's what able bodied American men did
in defense of their country's freedoms, despite never having held a gun.

~was a member of The Greatest Generation, but  hated that moniker. 
Each generation is great in its own way, he'd say.
 If  "all" one had to do, he'd say, is  fight evil and
take freedom back on the world stage, well, that's a golden opportunity 
to achieve greatness. How easy is it step up to the challenge?
Yes, he was humble.

~Rose from the rank of Private to Captain in the US Army Infantry
 within eighteen months,
leading his troop in the Pacific Theater to obliterate dozens of Japanese
forces and drive them out of The Philippines.

~ Took a short leave in October 1943 to come home and marry
his mom...and drive across the US
 to Camp Roberts in  Paso Robles, California,
where he'd ship out again to the islands in the 
South Pacific, under attack by enemy forces.

~arrived home from the front lines in August 1945 to meet his
daughter, his first born

~suffered PTSD, before it had a name and did not talk about 
the atrocities he witnessed, ever.
But did talk about a few scattered memories of his comrades.
 40 years later.

~worked in publishing and instilled in all
of us a lifelong love of books, reading, writing.

~ was raised Catholic and practiced his faith throughout  his
youth, due to his Mom's fervent love of The Church.....
a convert from the Episcopalian Church. 
Once returning from The War, he attended  daily mass
for the rest of his life, except when he was too ill toward the end.

~on many Sundays, challenged our young, new pastor 
on the intent of his homilies. 
When they began thrashing out theology so much so that they
 blocked the church door
for incoming parishioners to the following mass,
their conversation was brought home and, thus,
began a decades - long friendship which had Fr Kain included
in most of our family Sunday events.

~always considered his children and his grandchildren his
greatest accomplishments

~always had time for us, for anything we needed.
Despite his demanding job, which was stressful and paid 
him to afford us with the basics.
None of us ever felt we  were lacking.

The redemption and entry to Eternal Life  that Dad received..... 
well that's what is helping me heal.
Even 24 years later.
A deeper love  and reverence of our Faith and
the fundamental mystery that it simply is,
help the cavernous emptiness become not quite so daunting.

Here's to you Dad......
A cup of bravery and courage and selflessness. 

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Until next time,



  1. <3 I sympathize. July 16th is my little brother's birthday... my dad should be here to watch him grow up. I cried all day.
    I cry on Father's day, I cry on Dec. 1st (his birthday), I cry on my older brother and younger sister's birthdays as well... I'm not even human on Sept 26th (the day he passed). Even very cold, snowy days or wet, rainy days bother me as he was a bricklayer and bad weather would mean we could stay home with dad vs being at the sitter's house.

    1. Sarah~
      I love the snowy day bittersweet.
      Thank you for visiting, Sarah------ and sharing your thoughts. xoxoxo

  2. Can't wait to share this with my readers! So beautifully written❣️Thank you for sharing your Father with us! I will include the both of you in my prayers.

    1. CA,
      THANK YOU for stopping in and for the heartfelt comments. I'll be clicking over to your site to visit, as well...

  3. Hi Chris, I am so sorry. Your father sounded like a wonderful man. I can see why you hate July. It's difficult when we miss our loved ones who have passed on. Try to find some comfort in his memories. Thank you Chris for sharing your posts at Dishing It & Digging It. xo

    1. Linda thanks so much for your kind words....
      I so appreciate your visit too!

  4. What a loving tribute to your father! My father (also Catholic) died in 2004 at the age of 63 from cancer. I can certainly relate to the bittersweet feelings - it was such a relief that he was with his Maker not dealing with his pain but so hard for those left behind!

    1. Thank you Roseann, for your thoughtful words.....
      I appreciate your visit!

  5. Thanks Chris. It made my Dad's passing on my brothers birthday (July 6)more meaningful.

    Now as too what July 16 still can offer, I know you are aware of the Feast of Mt. Carmel and the brown scapular. Maybe there is a link to the promises.

    I bet your dad wore one at sometime in his life, especially coming from an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn.

    And if you want and Irish connection, The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity was founded in New Mexico on July 16, 1958. Thirteen years to the day after the Trinity Project gave the world the atomic bomb in the same state.

    My reversion came via this fledgling new society of all the vocations in the Church. Our founder, Fr. Flanagan (from Boston)was a Navy underwater demolition expert (frogman) in WWII. He left us last year. SOLT's co-founder, Fr. John McHugh, a bombardier in WWII, shot down over Germany was buried in NM yesterday. Both were Irish to the hilt. They are from the same mold as your dad.

    So maybe it is worth a come-and-see

    You may also appreciate my take on Duty-Honor-Country.


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