My Dad.


Im writing this through drenched and tired eyes, just hoping to get my thoughts out, for myself really.

This is in memory of my Dad. {If you didn’t know…we found out the bad news about 2 months ago}

The pain right now is absoulutely tangible. Its thick and real and it just hurts so badly.

At times I feel like the air was sucked out of the room and I grasp for breath. My insides physically hurt and I can’t seem to stop it. Even when I shut my eyes, it doesn’t go away. It just happened so fast.

This is my very first REAL encounter with death. Which means I have been blessed, I guess.

I don’t feel grateful. I feel distressed.

Im not mad, per-se. I am utterly heartbroken. Just all together broken.

There is SO much to Nicholas D’Alessandro. He is one complex individual and a real ‘piece of work’ most of the time. Even the last few weeks of his life, he had me shaking my head at his ‘Him-ness.” I didn’t know wether to laugh or cry some more.

He is so far from perfect.

He is an isolationist most of the time, with a fuse as small as an atom, and he has a bad track record for just being mean!

No, don’t go back – you read that correctly. There was a lot of ‘bad’ to my Dad.

But there was also SO much good. Thats what I’m here to focus on & Im a little sad I may not have focused on that as much as I should have. {.hindsight.}

He’s just my Dad. And I love Him. Crazy and all – I Love him so much. Even when he did or said things that made other people tell me I maybe shouldn’t love him anymore. I still loved him with everything in me. (*disclaimer* He never physically did anything to me. He did however ‘disagree’ with some of my choices in life because he didn’t understand them and some not nice words ensued, we got past it)

He had a really hard life as a kid/young adult and I am so glad that I grew up. Because in growing up I was able to see my Dad through very different eyes. As an adult I have just had so much compassion and love for that man. I believe it was God given.

He has 6 children and was self employed.. like at home. He and my mom never left the house for work. I was so blessed to have both my parents home all the time. He worked his butt off for us to provide us with a life where we didn’t need anything. He worked and worked and worked then worked some more. He took our 1/2 acre dirt lot back in Riverside and made it an oasis of beauty with his bare hands. Our house and landscape was his artwork. He had a plethora of fruit trees, a huge veggie garden & a massive cactus garden that he took so much pride in. It was truly admirable. He built us a 2 story fort out back with a fire-man pole to slide down on, where we spent many a nights sleeping in with our friends growing up. He just payed attention to every detail, even so far as collecting rocks all the way from the river and hauling them back to the house, one trip at a time, for around our fire pit. He did the same here in NC on his 10 acres. When you see 10 acres of forrest, its stunning. How would one make it more alluring? Well. I don’t know, but He did.

FOOD!!!! Don’t even get me started on food and my Dad. Its crazy to most “normal” people, Im serious…we won’t even go there cause Im not kidding when I say my Dad’s world revolved around food. Good food! And remember how he was an isolationist? Yes.. UNLESS we were talking about food, making food or eating food. He was a chef in his younger days and taught me everything I know about cooking. My whole life when I asked him to write down a recipe for me he would say “Just watch me!” And I did. And after some extensive research on Matt’s part, He will FOREVER get credit from his family for inventing the Apple Fritter.

There was so much good to the man I call Dad. He was a fierce protector and a wild adventurer. He was artistic and very meticulous. He LOVED the outdoors and all living creatures. He was a hunter of everything and even has a RAD butterfly and bug collection that should really be in a museum. He taught me to be afraid of NOTHING. He made me strong and independent though he ALWAYS took care of me as his only little girl, and taught me I should be taken care of. And not always…but sometimes.. he was FUNNY. Even in times he didn’t mean to be, we would all laugh at with Him. He taught me to hold a gun and hold my own. There is so much of Him in me.. some that really needs improvement and some that I really don’t mind. He had a big part in making me, well, me. And without fail, almost every time I saw him He would say “Thank GOD you look like ME!” with a sly grin on his face as he pinched my cheek or bit my ear.

He always had LOTS of things to say. Maybe you would call that ‘advice.’ I will forever hear him telling me many, many things. A few of which are: to put my bright lights on when driving down a windy road, to ALWAYS use fresh garlic. In Everything. To stop biting my nails. And to always ‘Be Careful’… Then there was always his infamous “SEE ME” notes written in red, posted all over the house at random times when He wanted to talk to us about anything. I always hated those…

 Now in this moment, if you asked me, I would say, I am mad. I am mad that my children won’t get to know their Pappy and I just weep thinking that Koral won’t even remember him. I didn’t know either of my grandpas and I ALWAYS hated that! Like.. ALWAYS .. HATED… THAT. My mom told me my whole life how her Dad died when she was 27 and how it absolutely wrecked her. I never had the compassion I should have. I always thought she was “old.” No big deal really. People die – so I’ve heard. But now to be in almost her exact shoes I can say, I’m singing a very different tune. It’s not fair. I didn’t have enough time. My kids are missing out on their crazy, Italian, wonderful, artistic, irritable, adventurous Pappy and I feel heartbroken for them and completely distressed myself. I am just scrambling trying to stop the dark black hole digging its way forcibly into my chest.

I will love him forever and cherish every single memory. I have no regrets and am so glad that I got to be here until the bitter end. Ive LOVED him deeply & unconditionally & showed him so he knows it. All throughout my life, I would come sit on his lap in his big chair. Just randomly. We never “talked” deep. We didn’t have that kind of relationship .. but I could always sit on his matter how big or grown up I was. And thats what Ive spent the past month doing.

Even if he was on so much pain medication He didn’t really know what was going on – He knew I was there. Holding his hand.

*I love you Dad. I knew you would pass away last night, I just KNEW. I even had a kinda cool vision as I lay restless in my bed. God was preparing my heart . He gave me a vivid picture and I know you are safe now. Ill see you again Dad but know I will always miss you here. ILY. *

We will keep marching on…

“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him. The Lord builds up Jerusalem ,He gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of starts and calls them each by name. GREAT is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” Psalm 147: 1~5

7 responses »

  1. Oh Lisa, my heart breaks for you. To know he is with our God in no more pain and completely restored brings me and hopefully your family peace. I can’t even imagine. Prayers for you during this time, hang in there, and may God be your rock.

  2. Oh Lisa, I am so sorry to hear this. Praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing with us about your daddy, and as another Daddy’s Girl, it breaks my heart and makes me literally cry.

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