My Dad


Pop and Gabby

You watched countless soccer games.

You organized backyard baseball.

You attended recitals.

You let me pretend to shave with you in the wee hours of morning.

You took me ice skating.

You let me pick out my favorite ice cream flavor at the Friendly’s take-out window.

You took me to father-daughter square dances.

You looked forward to family vacations.

You sang ‘Barbara Ann’ at the top of your deep voice.

We went fishing and actually caught fish.

We rode bikes in Cape Cod to pick up the morning paper.

We body-surfed the waves and leisurely walked along the shore.

We collected golf balls and used the driving range after-hours.

You took us for nighttime swims.

Pop and Gabby

You dragged us to church.

You wore your Sunday best and smelled like aftershave.

You honked the horn impatiently, beckoning all of us out onto the driveway.

You navigated the roads while mom painted her nails in the passenger seat.

You bought us gum if we behaved during Sunday Mass.

You stood your moral ground.

You never denied your faith.

You provided and worked hard to support your family.

Pop and Maddie

You drove us around for years like a hired chauffeur.

You edited my school papers.

You showed up for musical performances.

You shoveled the driveway on frigid mornings.

You changed the oil and mowed the lawn.

You warmed up the car.

You taught me how to drive.

You were reliable.

You were predictable.

You came home every night.

You cherished family holidays.

Pop and Gavin at hospital

You bought me a used banana-seat bike and spray painted it yellow.

You built us a fort that wasn’t anchored to the ground.

You taught me how to hold a paint brush and let me help.

You took us to pick out our very own mangy mutt, Fritz…errr…Frisky.

You brought us to sporting events.

You took us skiing after many years spent off the slopes and I watched you face-plant. Ouch!

You stuck it out and did the hard when we were ungrateful adolescents.

You told me I was beautiful.

You believed in me.

You helped me fill out college applications.

You sent me to my ‘first choice’.

You moved me in and out of dormitories.

You walked me down the aisle.

Dad, Mom, Myself, and Duff

You were present for the birth of your first grandchild.

You visited North Carolina often.

You prayed fervently over our sweet Gabrielle when she wouldn’t stop seizing.

You put your faith, your wife, and your family first.

You cared enough to stick around and you set an example.

You were the stable, dependable dad that your own father wasn’t.

 You changed your children’s inheritance.


You overcame the odds.

You broke the pattern.

You became the father that takes his marriage vows seriously.

You became the father who provides and protects.

You became the father that leads his family and has faith in our perfect Father in Heaven.

You will leave behind this amazing legacy.

Thank you for living courageously

and for being a real dad to me.

I love you.

Your daughter,



  1. Your heart and your writing is beautiful but you make me cry always! Usually due to happy sentiments. #Iamasap

  2. Stacey Johnson says:

    Dear Kelly, This is perhaps the most beautiful blog post I have ever read. You make me wish I’d known your precious father. What a loving, wonderful, joyful legacy he provided for his family. What a story of redemption and grace. God bless you, sweet friend. Love, Stacey

  3. Stacey Johnson says:

    P.S. I see his smile in you, especially.

  4. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your heart in the midst of your loss. Praying for you and your family.

  5. Cindy Francis says:

    A beautiful tribute.

  6. This is so beautiful Kelly. I know your dad was always proud of you and was always a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing his legacy with us.

  7. karen fiori says:

    Kelly, This is beautiful. What an exceptionally wonderful man your dad was. How blessed you are to be his daughter.

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