Last week we buried my dad.
He was the best dad too; kind, smart supportive, stubborn, quiet, honest, strong, creative, generous, mischievous, funny, devout and always there for us.
He was a giant of a man, strong as an ox, who adored his family, loved tiny dogs, hard work, coffee, corn muffins, cigarettes and saying the rosary.
He carved wood and stone and we painted outdoors together.
He embodied what it is to be truly comfortable in one's own skin.
He grew up hunting ducks and trapping muskrats from his homemade boats, poling his way through the meadowlands - a veritable Jersey Huck Finn.
He taught me to trap as a boy, but what I cherish most were the silent moments shared out on the ice.
Without words he showed me what it is to fully sense one's surroundings with a full heart and gratitude for the simple beauty of it all -
And the power of small moments.
While standing alone on the snowy bank of the Delaware River before his service I was intensely aware of how he would have loved the scene: The violet mountains, the smell of the fresh water, the sounds of ice moving down the river, and the almost imperceptible warmth of the pale January sun.
I can see him now in a hand-knitted hat from my mom, old fatigue jacket, cigarette on his lip, quietly taking it all in.
So I wasn't really alone.
Thank you for helping me to see it all Dad-
And for the love and all the grand, small moments.
Give Mom a hug.
You will always be with me.