‘Love Ya Babe’

By Lisa Pezzolla

This column is dedicated to the memory of Anthony C. Tortoreti, who died 
June 11, 2002.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
The above quote appeared on my dad’s Mass card and those who spent time with my father would remember his big smile or might have had the opportunity to share one of his famous lunches.
The month of June has always been a special month for me. It was the end of the school year and it’s also my birthday.
Nine years ago on June 11, a horrifying phone call from my mom changed our
lives forever.
It feels like it was just yesterday when we pulled up to the house to see my mom and dad gardening, not realizing it would be for the last time that we would find them together enjoying what they loved to do.
Our last conversation together was the night before he passed away. We were
making plans to have lunch together and his last words to me were: “Love ya, babe.”
So today, I write once again in remembrance of the loss of my dad and to recall special moments with him. We spent many nights watching the Yankee games, worked side by side and he always listened to me — whether he agreed or disagreed.
This week, dad, you will be on my mind and when I am celebrating my birthday I will not forget about the clam bake we were supposed to have. Miss ya!
Don’t forget your dad on Father’s Day, June 19.

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