My corner, your corner: Celebrate Dad all year long

My corner, - your corner - Tony Callaio
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Happy Father’s Day to all dads. It’s the one day a year we get to celebrate fathers.

Celebrating dad, or mom for that matter, should not be relegated to just one day a year. Celebrating parents should be a 365.24 days a year.

For those of you like myself without a dad, today is a bittersweet day. I get to recall my time with my dad and remember the good times. But yet, wishing he were here for one more day or having one more conversation or to enjoy a ball game or a meal or a holiday is something I think about all the time.

We take for granted when our parents are alive and well. We live day-to-day, letting life get in the way and thinking Mom and Dad will be with us forever.

The cruel reality is – we come and we go – including our parents.

My dad was a great guy who did all he could to provide for his family. He worked a full-time job at Tobyhanna Army Depot by day and, seasonally, he worked at Pocono Downs for 18 years.

He worked so much, there were times I barely saw him.

Growing up during my Little League days was particularly tough on me because all my friends had their parents in the stands supporting them and my mom and dad were working. I hated the end of the games in particular when parents would wait for their child to take them home or to buy that last snack at the concession stand before it closed.

With bat and glove in hand, I would take a slow walk home – win or lose, the walk was always the same.

I’ve written about my dad many times, including the very first article I penned in 1991 about his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Out of that tragedy came a career I wasn’t planning on but I got the writing bug. I wrote a few more articles for the Sunday Dispatch and, within a short period of time, was offered the opportunity to write this column.

I never had the chance to thank my dad for my writing career and he never did get to realize what opportunity I had because of him.

Thank you, Dad, for giving me the courage to tell your story and the devastation Alzheimer’s has on families.

By digging deep in my heart and soul when my father took ill brought something out in me I never knew I had.

Whenever someone tells me I remind him or her of my dad, I get a huge grin on my face. I’ve always been told my personality is similar to my father’sand I’m very happy about that.

My dad took ill with Alzheimer’s when I was in my early to mid-20s and I can’t help but think of all the things he’s missed over my lifetime.

I can’t help but think of how my life would have been if he were still alive and well. I would have been able to bounce so many things off him to get insight and wisdom that he gained over his lifetime. There is no substitution for life’s experiences.

I always felt bad for my mother, having to see her husband fade away over the 14 years he battled Alzheimer’s disease. It would have been great to see my parents grow old together and enjoy life and their children, grandchildren and now a great-grandchild.

If you still have a dad, have a great day with him. Seek out his advice and wisdom. Give him a hug and tell him you love him and hang on to him for as long as you can.

Thank you Dad … thank you for the days we had and thank you for showing me what it means to be a compassionate person.

I miss you and I love you. It makes me happy that Mom is now lying by your side for eternity.

Happy Father’s Day!

Tornado

It’s not often you get to witness damage from an EF2 tornado as I did this past week when the powerful storm hit the Hub Arena at Wilkes-Barre Twp.

I received a call at 6:25 a.m. Thursday from the Times Leader, asking if I’d be able to shoot the devastation.

Like a fireman, I was out of bed, cameras loaded up and out the door in seven minutes. Still rubbing my eyes on the drive, I couldn’t anticipate what I would see once I arrived.

I’ve lived through two major floods so seeing cars tossed around and buildings destroyed was something I had witnessed before. But when you an EF2 tornado is involved, well, it’s almost like a war-like situation where you would see bombed out buildings and cars and trucks and building pieces everywhere.

It was a crazy day shooting and, just went it couldn’t get crazier, Gov. Wolf decided to do a damage tour in the afternoon.

The photo pool was very large with local, state and national news press waiting to see the line of destruction caused by the tornado.

I believe many buildings will have to be leveled and rebuilt and others will undergo major work to reopen.

It’s going to take many, many months of work to get things back to normal.

Quote of the week

“You better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.” – Harriet Martineau, English essayist

Thought of the week

“The difference between one man and another is not mere ability – it is energy.” – Thomas Arnold, English educator

Bumper sticker

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber, German philosopher

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My corner,

your corner

Tony Callaio

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.