Friday, November 15, 2013

My Dad's Legacy

This is a tough time of year for me.  The second anniversary of my Dad’s death is tomorrow so of course he has been on my mind…a lot.  Being the holidays doesn’t help either.  Tonight a friend told me that the time will come where I will reminisce about my Dad with humor; “Oh, Dad would have loved that!”  I’m not there…yet.  True when I think of all the hard work I have put into obtaining my education, I think of him and know that he would be proud.  I remember being about B’s age and seeing my Dad come home with the big college textbooks, books that he kept for years, although my mother wanted them thrown out.  She didn’t understand why he would be attached to textbooks he’d never use.  Of course she also never went on to higher education.  When I see the piles of textbooks that, let’s face it, I may never use yet cannot bear to throw away, I think of my Dad.  I know how proud he would be that I too am showing my child that working for your dreams is a worthy thing, since dreams do not just fall into your lap.  I am glad I have his connection with him, although he is no longer here.  It is part of the legacy he passed to me, amongst others.

The rest of this blog is the eulogy I wrote for him.  Yes, I posted it last year, but I meant what I said two years ago and sometimes I need the reminder…

How exactly do you eulogize a man like James Vescera?  He was many things to many people; husband, Dad, father in law, uncle, brother, brother in law, friend.  All roles he performed with the upmost of importance.  I could stand here and tell you what a horrible disease this is, that took my Dad from us far too early, but when I look back on my life, and when I tell stories about him to Brady or any of mine and David’s future children, I will not focus on HD, I’ll focus on all the little things that made my Dad so great.  Like Halloween.  Every Halloween he would put on this ridiculous old guy mask, to take us trick or treating.  Every year. 
I’ll remember the father and daughter dances where he would do what I called his Frankenstein dance, and I would get annoyed.  Not at his lack of dancing ability because as we all know, I can’t dance either, but I would get annoyed that every other Dad at these dances had to come up and talk to my Dad.  Or how every Christmas it was hard to see who was more excited, Jay and myself, or our Dad.  And how much he loved to tease my Mom every year for Christmas or her Birthday with the worst wrapping job known to man.  Or how he would make up little annoying nicknames for my Mom.  How proud he was whenever I was in a play, no matter how bad some of them were.  How he coached my brother’s T-Ball team, and never was the Dad to get ultra competitive, he would just laugh when instead of looking for fly balls Jay was looking for bugs.  How even though he had to take a night job, that was far below his qualifications because he was getting sick, he still took the time to take me out driving so I could learn to drive, which is probably why I can parallel park, and have a huge love for the Doors and Classic rock.  I’ll think of all of our family trips, North Conway where we would cross country ski, go to the Polar Caves, our trip to Disney, Dad loved amusement park rides, and to this day I can’t think of Disney without picturing his face after the Back to the Future ride. 
 I’ll remember the wood car he and my brother made for Boy Scouts one year, he was so proud to have done that.  I’ll never forget how he even designed our house in Scituate, did so much of the construction, the electrical, and even the painstakingly hard job of hardwood floors, plank by plank with my grandfather.  How every Sunday at my Grandparents, we knew if there was a new recipe, Jimmy would like it.  Or how he was teased by his friends earning him the longest nickname in history “Jim V as in Victor e-s-c-e-r-a.”
I’ll remember having chocolate cake or cold pizza sometimes in the morning for breakfast, and how he used to let my friends tease him about his minor beer belly. 
I’ll remember his fabulous sense of humor.  Even at times where most parents would be aggravated, we could say something and he would find humor in the situation.
I’ll remember times where he stood up for what he believed in, when it came to his brother Danny, or Tommy, or even once a friend of mine in Elementary School
I’ll remember how much he loved his grandchildren, Jay and myself, David and Courtney, and my Mom.
I’ll remember how he never once complained about his illness, how he took it on like he took on everything, with courage and strength.

The saying is a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.  After last night and today, it is obvious our Dad had a large heart.  Thank you for loving our Dad.

So, just how do you eulogize a great man like my Dad?  By going out and living like he did, hug your loved ones, never let a minute go by to tell them you love them.  Laugh every day.  Be courageous, strong and above all be selfless.  That is the kind of daily tribute you could all give my Dad.


  1. Love this, I was crying. My Dad passed two years ago on July 19. It is very clear you loved your Dad. Those memories are special...
    Regina H.

    1. Regina, I had no idea! I did love my Dad-he was a pretty awesome guy, and where I got some of my nerdy sense of humor from! Sorry to make you cry!