57 years ago today, a little baby boy was born, by the name of Giuseppe Milo. If it weren’t for him, as well as my Mum, I wouldn’t be here this very second writing these words. Today’s his 57th birthday and I wish I could tell him how much he means to me, how much I love him and how thankful and grateful I am for him, his outlook on how one should be in life, his discipline, he taught me and my two older brothers right from wrong. He wasn’t an angel himself, but he had character, a unique sense of sinister humour, he is what we would call ”Vecchia stampa” – translation: ”Old stamp” – Meaning he is a strong believer in the old cultural up bringing, where the wife and women should be respectable, church on Sundays, know how to cook and dine a man, look after the home and the children. Whilst the man would work, do the various household man’s job – rewiring, updating the house, new kitchen appliances, decorating and taking care of anything which involved a bit of the elbow grease, as well as cooking, above all – he loved gardening and taking care of his allotment, bringing home fresh foods, ensuring we had food on the table, it meant sustainability. We had no worries, just the bills to pay.
He was stuck in his old ways, and I think that’s where I get it from? But whilst I was much younger I despised his old ways, but now that I’m older, I understand his old ways, and now that he’s gone, I understand him. Something that someone had said to me just after my Dad had passed away: ”You’ll learn more about your Dad now than ever before”. I took her word for it as she lost her Dad at a young age, and she was right, I have. Here I sit just over a year of his absence, wishing I could go back, change my ways, my attitude towards him and seen the good he was doing, despite his bad short tempered one minded head strong ways, it could’ve probably made his life a little easier.
Something my Mum’s said all my life, translating back into English: ”I lost my Dad when I was only 9, and I then lost my Mum when I was 14, they were good people, my Dad was a good man, he didn’t deserve to be taken at such a young age, and my Mum didn’t deserve the pain.” So, I never had a chance to meet my Grandparents from my Mums side, but even now, when I bring up my Dad in a conversation, she’ll repeat those words, it does break my heart hearing her say those words, but it was only a short while ago I understood why she’ll always repeat those words. It’s not to remind me to appreciate and cherish my parents, no, it’s not even just about my Dad being an asshole and her Dad being a very good admired gentleman, no, it’s not just that. The fact is, it still hurts and breaks her heart, knowing the things she had gone through and put up with my Dad, and knowing her kids, being me and brothers, still have our Mum, wishing she could still see hers. This, breaks my heart, I get a lump in my throat every time I think about it, my hearts feels so heavy in my chest it drops to stomach.
The real reason for this post, is for the youngsters out there, who don’t appreciate their parents, bad mouths and answering back, saying ”No” to their Mum who’s just come back from work and has only asked ”Will you make me a cuppa please?” or ”Can you tidy your room please?” – because they’re young, so innocent, disobedient, full of rage, envious of their friends fuelling their egos, and it’s only when they grow up, they realise exactly how precious their parents are, sometimes, kids don’t even have that opportunity as their parents are taken from them at a young age.
I just wish there was a way in which kids could appreciate their parents a lot more, understand that it is hard looking after them, I’m not a Mum, but the tears I witnessed rolling down my Mum’s cheeks and the passing of my Dad, not opening my eyes and taking those chances, made me realise, change. It put a new spin and whole different meaning on the words – Love, Appreciate, Family.
I now believe that there’s only one upside in losing someone, or something – You’ll never have to lose them again, you’ll never have to revisit those exact emotions.
Happy birthday Dad. Wish you were still here so I could tell you. I’d have changed my ways… then maybe you would have changed yours. Xx