My dad passed 7 years ago. While you might think Father’s Day is a tough day for me which I will agree, but a day without my dad is always a tough day. For me though, this is a day to remember all of the good he did for me and my family. A time to honor him and all of the things he taught us. I believe there were still lessons to be learned from my dad and that he went on to a new life way to early. Many times I think it would be so delightful to sit with him on my front porch and watch the boats sailing through the bay waters but as I sit alone on this early Friday morning listening to the seagulls laugh and the boats with their motors softly humming, I know he is sitting next to me in spirit. He will always have a special place in my heart, my head and my soul. Thank you Dad
For everyone that misses their dad on Father’s Day – let’s take a moment of silence for them, let’s think of the things that they did for us and let’s celebrate their day too, it’s ok, even if they’re not here – thank them silently. In all honesty, even though time has passed and the years have stacked up to quickly since my dad died, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. He was funny. There are only 2 other people that can make me laugh as hard as my father use to make me laugh. What a gift.
If you’ll allow me a moment to brag about my dad – he was the best and from my point of view, they just don’t make them like him anymore.
My dad, Vincent James Ranoia was born in a tiny row home in South Philadelphia, March of 1929. He was 1 of 10 children born to Caroline and Joseph Ranoia. In the ranks of kids he was the middle child and if the theories are correct about middle kids, my dad is the classic text book – caring, responsible, class clown and always wanted to please.
Growing up in South Philadelphia he attended St. Rita’s grade school where he told us stories of his antics as the class clown. Seems my dad thought this was a good way to get the kids to like him and the nuns to disapprove of him. Some of his stories would make me sad but that is where I learned about class prejudice. Rich kids had it made while the poor kids had to prove themselves. And boy did he ever prove himself – till his dying day he was still creating and inventing. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School and joined the Marines at 17.
He was proud to be a Marine and looked as dashing in his Marine Blues as he did in his camos. He fought in 4 major battles in Korea –Inchon, Pusan, Chosin Reservoir, and Hamhung. The stories from his days in Korea are beyond my comprehension. I asked him once before he died if he ever felt despair, his answer was; “no, we never thought of failure.” (he should have been an inspirational speaker!) His tour of duty was marked with a foot so badly frost bitten he never walked the same again but never thought about it.
In 1953 he married my mom and continued his stint in the Marines becoming a DI at Parris Island. After retiring from the military, he became a cop, went back to school at night to earn a degree in engineering while also working part time jobs. He moved up the ladder in the police department and was promoted to detective (while still going to school!)
My dad was humble, even when he knew he was right about something and the other person was insisting that he wasn’t my dad would let it go. He knew what was important and what wasn’t and had a perspective on life that only a few people have. I’d like to think that I’ve been given this gift, as well as my brother. It seems that we have an unbelievable sense of responsibility, of strength and of never giving up even when the cards are against us.
I’d like to take this moment to thank my dad for his astonishing amount of strength which he showed throughout his life and the strength that he passed onto his children – he never short changed us. Semper fi Dad!