Every January 1st, we in my family remember my father, affectionately known throughout the family as “ Uncle Joe”. He passed on a New Year’s Day, and grabbing joy from the jaws of sadness, what better way to remember him as the first rays of the New Year sun begin to spread across the planet.
As we who loved “Uncle Joe” remember , among his many virtues was his spirit of generosity, a generosity to family that was so deep and committed that one family member once called him, erroneously, I thought at first, “ my rich Uncle Joe”. I was initially offended, as our background was anything but wealthy financially, but then I realized how rich my father was … rich in spirit, kindness, and generosity. If you needed my father, he was there for you. Anyone who ever borrowed a few bucks from him can attest to the fact that he never expected any “juice” on the loan. This in a world where usury is the every day “abnormal” way people conduct most monetary transactions.
My pa seldom took me aside to teach me life’s lessons, he taught by example. Another New Year gives me the opportunity to say,” Dio ti benedica, pa, e grazii mille mille per tutti!”