We miss you, Dad. I'm sure you are smiling down upon us right now, or maybe you're right in the middle of a Father's Day game of pinochle with Willy, Mario, Raymond and Uncle Gil, with Robbie fixing drinks. (I'm sure Grandma Delfina and Ida are busy making fresh ravioli.)
I met a lot of your friends at the service in AZ, and they all talked about how great you were; I was very proud to be your son, and as difficult as it was, I will never regret being there for you. Jackie and the girls put on a great show, I'm sure you were proud.
I know it made you really happy to see Mary, Lynda, Billy, Dean, Joy and lots of other Costas at the church in White Plains...everyone was glad they got a chance to say goodbye on the "home field." Thomas did a great job with the arrangements, and that was some eulogy he wrote, huh? I know it made you happy to see your three children holding hands in the church, and I know you're happy that Joni and I are speaking again after so many years. If there's one thing we learned because of your departure, it's that life is too short to hold grudges.
When the doctor told me, exactly three weeks after you passed, that I had a tumor in my kidney just like you did, I tried humor as a way to cope. I'm sure you heard me say out loud, "Dad, if this is your idea of a father-son bonding experience, I am not amused." It was rough, but I feel blessed that everything worked out in the end—and the whole experience gave me a little taste of what you had to endure for years, and it brought me closer to you.
So yeah, you're on my mind constantly. I keep reaching for the phone to call you, forgetting that you're out of my cell phone service area. But that's OK, I know you're watching over me.
You fought a brave battle, and you will forever be my hero—and I will always be your Baby John.