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Life Lessons & Father’s Day Messages

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Happy Father’s Day!

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“Feeling Groovy”

There is an old song from the 60’s called, “Feeling Groovy”
It speaks of slowing down to say hello to a lamppost or stopping to watch flowers grow.
The last line says Life, I love you, all is groovy or marvelous or even perhaps excellent.
My father-in-law was an example of this song.
His name is Jaime or as we called him Poppie. He was born in 1921 and rested in 2004.
Poppie was a quiet man who relished life and enjoyed noticing the little things. He took time for others no matter where he was. I can also see this wonderful quality in my husband and now in our son.
They too take time for others. Poppie has been gone for a long time, but I can still him see in so many places. The coffee shop around the corner of his home was a favorite spot. He would be joined by his friends drinking coffee and talking. I can see him sitting on the front porch watching his grandchildren play. Our children also had the pleasure of him walking them to school. My dear father-in-law had a gift of loving life. A quality not too many people are blessed with. He was a happy man. He was content with just watching and observing this beautiful world that God has created for us. He didn’t allow the craziness of the world to get to him.

Poppie was a delight to be around and I miss him so.

The life lesson that I would like to share is stop stressing over things that you have no control over and remember, Life, I love you, all is groovy.

–Kathryn Acevedo

Think Outside the Box

My father taught me how to think out of the box. His name was Henry Valentine Geres.
He was in the Coast Guard and in WWII they were sent abroad as part of the Navy.
My father did not fit in with the other guys when they went on leave to the bars looking for girls.
On leave, he ended up going alone to libraries or art and history museums.
It was sort of funny, years later when we got all of his records, that because he did this… the psychologists felt that he had a problem!
Turns out that they were sent to North Africa to fight Rommel’s troops.
Unfortunately, he had been separated from his squad.
He ended up single handedly, taking out a whole battalion of the enemy by throwing a hand grenade into their foxhole.
They had wounded him and, again alone, he was left for dead.
He was found alive by an Arab that brought him to a base.
For this, he was given a Purple Heart.
It was lost in a house fire, sadly, but Representative Gus Bilirakis researched it and gave him another.
Henry was an artist and made a living as a sign maker.
Constructing signs, lettering trucks, installing neon, serigraphy and many of those lost art things that tech now has replaced.
Artists (generally) do not take to war, but in this particular war he did what he had to do.
I’ve learned to make myself as informed as I can and to be true to the things that I learn so that I can see through propaganda.
It’s a legacy from a lad who took advantage of the opportunities for knowledge rather than fitting in— even if he was considered “odd”.
When he made friends, they were genuine.

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–Jennifer Sullivan, Spring Hill

On the Railroad

My father passed away several years ago and still today I miss him so much. He was employed by the New York Central Railroad and he was supervisor on the Big Four Bridge in Louisville, KY. Bridge is still in use today but as a pedestrian walkway over the Ohio River between Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind. Love You Dad and miss you.

–Dan Brightwell

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Never Let an Opportunity Go By

My dad always told me to never let an opportunity go by . He said sometimes you only get that one chance in life it’s your decision what you do with it. So do it the best you can and NEVER GIVE UP.

I love you dad and miss you everyday!

–Kelly Dodson

Responsibilities of Fatherhood

Being a father requires many responsibilities in life but two are vitally important.
1. Shoulders to carry our children, both when they are small and through adulthood, providing assurance and guidance as they prepare for life.
2. A Heart to love them on good days and bad. With pride or a broken heart, a father’s love is essential to a lost or struggling child. Jesus said, we must all become like little children in a spiritual sense. We have a very good Father in heaven who offers to carry us through life and promises that we will always be on His heart. Earthly fathers, we all stumble along the way being a dad, but our Heavenly Father says, keep looking up and seeking Heavenly directions for fatherhood. You’re probably doing better than you think!

–Pastor Wes

A Tribute to All Fathers

Poem written by Ellie Marceau

I look up and what do I see?
It’s my Dad, smiling at me
He works so hard for our family
With all his love to give us security
He comes home weary but happy with a smile
His home is filled with love and warmth and he can rest awhile
When we are young and take him for granted, he’s ignored
On how much our dad cares and how much we are adored
He will give us advice on what’s right or wrong
But when we are teens we say it’s the same old song
But later on as we grew
It finally dawned on us and we knew
What he had taught us all along
His words made us so proud of him and so strong
Now I’ve become a parent and my dad
Is just bursting with pride and I’m so glad
He’s now a Grandad and holds my mother
And says wow look at our family’s love for each other
Now his hands are worn and he’s getting old
Oh how we love and respect him he is told
He hugs us all and we can’t stop our tears
Of this happiness and memories of all the years
Now our child looks up and what does he see?
Yes you guessed it, we are both smiling , now it’s him and me
So cherish your dad and all your family
It’s a beautiful gift and what a legacy!

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Best advice he ever game me?

Never start a fight, but never walk away from it and never turn your back when you find someone on need that you can help

–Toby Benoit

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Best Grandpa & Father

My husband is the BEST grandpa and father ever!, never too tired, too old, or too involved to find time to be with his family. We love you Papa.

–Joan LoBianco

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My father, Louis Vyhnanek

In this throwaway society of today I find myself thinking of how much Dad chose his possessions carefully and made them last.
He was particular about everything from clothing and furniture to tools and cars. For example we traded cars every ten years. I can remember each one. Especially memorable was our 1949 Chevy farm truck which outlasted all the others and made it through four decades of hard service. It did everything from hauling sawdust for chicken coops to bringing us Christmas trees. I rode in the back truck bed many times for a short trip, often to get my summer ice cream treats.
It was also a special event to travel by car to Tampa for just the right sofa, chair, table, or lamp at a large furniture dealer on Florida Avenue called Listers. The whole family went along. Bedroom sets, bookcases, and living room furnishings were later passed down to various family members, making it from house to house, to be enjoyed for many more years to come. With them came not only usefulness but memories.
Dad was often busy on the farm. He could be seen cleaning and sharpening tools at his workbench. He never had a rusty or dull tool! At night he might be buffing or polishing shoes at the kitchen table. His favorite boots or dress shoes were repaired not replaced.
Nothing seemed to be just thrown away back then. Purchases were made after much consideration and often involved months of savings. Nothing impulsive, no hurry. Treated with love. I like to think some of that rubbed off on me as I look at my favorite things and think of Dad.
Happy Father’s Day

–Judy Warnock

Two Things

My dad (David Parnin) has taught me two of the most important things in life: Availability and not taking life too seriously.
I love you dad!

–Chad Parnin

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To the best dad our kids could ask for,

Thank you for all you do and continue to do everyday. Thank you for showing up to every sporting event, every family function, and every milestone in our kids lives. Thank you for working so hard to make sure our kids never go without. Some weeks you come home and are so tired after working 60 hour weeks, and you still manage to find time to play with your kids. You’re this families steady foundation and we love you so much!
Happy Father’s Day
Love, your wife, Madison, Allison, and mason.

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Peter Raia –

Though you are no longer with us, what you instilled in me as a father are with me today and act as a guiding force in my life. I love you more than you will ever know.

Love always your son,
Nicholas Raia

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Thomas Murphy –

You have taught me a great deal and provided an outlook on life I hold dearly in my heart. I appreciate everything you have done for me.

Love always your daughter,
Patricia Raia

Austyn’s father, Ned, with three of his dogs. [Photo provided by Susan Szempruch]

Fathers: Leading By Example

With Father’s Day on the horizon, it is important to remember those superheroes in our lives who work tirelessly to provide for their families. They serve a critical role that often receives less gratitude than it deserves. In this issue, we are hoping to shine a spotlight on their invaluable sacrifices by sharing some personal anecdotes and lessons learned from years of instruction.
When it comes to my dad, there are an innumerable number of positive things I could say about him as a person and father. He is caring, composed, prepared, an incredible provider, and easily the smartest man I have ever met. He worked his way up from an impoverished childhood and took every step necessary to build the career and family he wanted.
He has always been kind and able to find solutions for any problem he has faced. Combined with a passion for helping animals, this made him perfectly suited for his dream of becoming a veterinarian. Of all the lessons I have learned from him, though, one stands out to me above the rest: lead by example. He has handled every situation with a calm demeanor and a quiet confidence in himself, and I now realize that was anything but easy.
This taught me to be kind, do my best, and work toward my future without looking for external validation. It is my goal to live my life the same way and to inspire others to do the same. Thank you, Dad!

–Austyn Szempruch

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