By Joseph J. Mazzella • July 19, 2022
When I was 5 years old my Dad, Mom, two brothers and I all lived in my Nana’s 70 year old ramshackle house. We didn’t really own anything but since we didn’t feel poor, we weren’t poor. We grew our own food, patched our own clothes, and were happy. And after school each day I would play outside and wait patiently for my Dad to get home from work.
He would always arrive tired and covered in grease from working as an auto mechanic. I would wait as he scrubbed the oil off his hands and changed out of his dirty, grimy coveralls. Then he would settle into his worn out old recliner while my Mom and Nana cooked dinner. And with a smile he’d let me climb on his lap so we could watch TV together. I still remember his thick, calloused hands holding mine and his strong arms around me. I always felt so safe there, so peaceful, so content, and so loved.
Now I am 55 years old. My hair, what there is left of it, is mostly gray. I have wrinkles and laugh lines as deep as canyons. My body often feels achy. I have a bad back and a bit of a belly. I get mail urging me to join the AARP. I am the oldest generation alive in my family with Dad, Mom, and Nana all in Heaven. Yet, a part of me is still that 5 year old boy. A part of me still longs to climb in that beat up old recliner with my Dad one more time. I want to tell him how much I love him and thank him for always making me feel safe and loved and happy as a child. Instead I look up to the skies and send my thanks and my love heavenward. I do so because I know that Dad and my Heavenly Father are watching over me and loving me even now.
Life here goes by so fast, yet each moment of it is precious. Cherish them all then. Fill every one of them with love, laughter, kindness, smiles, hugs, and joy. Sit back and enjoy every second life gives you no matter how beat up or worn out your recliner may be.
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