Friday, September 9, 2016

R.I.P Grandpa Jaspare

I first met my stepfather-in-law when I was 20, on the day I met Lisa. The details are fuzzy, but within minutes of being introduced he either called me a Polack, swore at me in Italian, or otherwise violated social etiquette.

Sensing a kindred spirit, I returned in kind. 

He laughed in reply, and I liked him immediately.

Within a few months our trips for coffee together at George Webb's became routine.Although I didn't realize it, he became the one, in Lisa's words, to vett me for her family. 

A year later he was called in front of my parish priest to vouch for our upcoming marriage. My mother-in-law had already told the priest she dissapproved of the wedding - if my 19 year old daughter said she was engaged, I'd do the same - but Jaspare went to bat for us. According to the priest, he advocated for us in a manner more Perry Mason than retired factory worker. 

I owe you for that Jaspare.

He had his flaw, God knows, just like us all. But when we had kids he became a beloved Grandpa, one especially close to YaYa. 

I owe you for that too Jaspare. 

A few months ago, just after a house fire that drove my in-law's into temporary housing, he was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. 

Yesterday Team Slap went to say our goodbyes at his hospice. The kids hugged him and told him they loved him, and broke down in tears. I found myself crying too, and thanking him for being there for the family. 

Shortly after midnight, he passed away. 

Rest in Peace Jaspare. 

We love you, and we'll miss you. 


Estela said...

My most heartfelt sympathies to you and your family. Loss is so very hard for those of us left to grieve.

Sybil said...

Thank you Dan for such lovely words. He will be much missed by each and every one of you..and you will all have your own special memories that will never leave you, as the days and weeks pass you will remember them with much love. Xx God Be With you ALL x