Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Today, I give thanks for a great man and mourn his loss

"Is that a Rum Soaked Crook?" asked Valentino's dad each and every time he saw his son with a cigar.
Yes, it is really a thing. I had my doubts.
We laughed each and every time. It was kind of our thing.

I can't remember the last time he said it. Maybe when he came to visit as a surprise for Valentino the Younger's birthday party?

He had no idea his dad had travelled all the way
from Pittsburgh for the surprise party!
I win the Best Girlfriend prize 2014.
I'm sure he also said it one or a hundred times when we cruised to Bermuda. Many cigars were smoked. Much time was spent with Valentino the Elder, so...yeah. After all, it was our thing.

On this cruise, he and I ditched his son and my family
and snuck off and had drinks and ice cream shakes.
I will miss my partner-in-crime.

And certainly when we visited in June for the annual jaunt when the Valentinos play golf and I hopped over to West Virginia to hang with my boy.*

I was going to make a sparkle (*) about how Valentino the Elder, since his back troubles and subsequent surgery, now mans the golf cart, taking pictures and hauling water to the troops while the younger men play whack the ball and smoke cigars. Er, play golf. But this idea seems too important for a mere sparkle; it deserves a paragraph all to itself.  Since no girls are allowed at Man Camp, from whence the event stems, naturally I've never seen this golf cart activity. But for years, whenever someone talks about his position as Executive in Charge of Hydration and Photography, this is what I picture:

You can never take this image away, no matter how many stories of reality you tell me. It will always be this.

In addition to these festivities, there's also some good old Italian family time, complete with lots of noise and yelling and jocularity,** continuously cranked up to 11. That's very different from Casa Piva--we maintain about a level 4 with occasional bursts to 8.

They're good people. No, they're great people.

Is that a Rum Soaked Crook he's smoking?

The patriarch, Valentino the Elder, he was a kind, caring, funny, thoughtful man, all wonderful traits he passed on to his children and granddaughters.

My mom wrote, "He was 'bigger than life' and filled the room with his presence. My world is a better place for having known him, I will never think of him without smiling." Yes. Exactly that.

Now, one of the greatest men I have ever known is driving the golf cart in the sky, where the folks are cheering for him like it's the 16th Hole at the Waste Management Tournament. Yeah, he's smoking a cigar. And yes, it's a Rum Soaked Crook. You know, because it's our thing.

Godspeed, Tino. XOXO

*Keep in mind, my boy is 6' 4" is and wears a size 14 shoe. But he'll always be my boy. Of course, I can't remember his age. 26? 27? In that range. Mother of the Year right here.

**I'm trying to use this word once a day. It's a very fun word to say and reminds me of Father Mulcahey.

1 comment:

  1. We're more of a level 4 with an occasional burst of 4.5


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