My Father, "Whitey"
All my life, my father worked day and night for his family. I didn’t understand it much when I was younger why he was not home that often...but now I do. He took care of everyone, then one day the tables were turned and I was taking care of him. He lived with Parkinson’s and Lewey body dementia for about eight years and I was by his side the whole entire way from many late nights in emergency rooms, encouraging him in physical therapy, feeding him on days he did not have the strength, showering and dressing him to make sure he looked better than I did, sitting with him under the gazebo at the nursing home on summer nights, bringing him his favorite Old Forge pizza to finally, holding his hand when he left me for good. He may not be by my side in body any longer, but he left an impression on me like no one else. At first I felt empty and defeated and just talking about his loss was not enough. My father always did things big in his life. He opened Apple House Trucking in 1968 with one truck and grew it to a fleet that travelled all areas of the country. He taught me to get right back up when you are knocked down. He also loved to help people in any way he could. If you found a case of apples on your porch, you knew they were from Whitey. He gave to many local charities from churches, little leagues, volunteer fire department, etc. I finally just realized that is where I get my desire to help and “fix things.”
I need to do something in his honor and that is why I opened this office. I have to carry on the “family business”, although I would make a lousy truck driver, as he always told me because I cannot drive long distance without getting tired quickly. As if losing my father was not enough of a hole in my heart, an exact year later we lost my beautiful nephew unexpectedly. That loss put a hole in my soul. In fact, I felt like one big hole floating in the universe. I had to work on my own grief and loss if I wanted to help others, which is why I welcome you to make your self comfortable in a place where we will laugh, cry and figure things out.
My Beautiful Eddie
I wish I could go back to the days of babysitting my nephew Eddie when the worst thing that happened was when he bumped his lip as I chased him around the coffee table. That time was precious and sacred. Raising my own family, I saw Eddie mostly on holidays throughout the years. What happened through those years were just plain life. As clearly as I remembered playing hide and seek with him, I will not forget when my sister in law told me about his struggle with opioid addiction about 12 years ago. The innocence seemed lost. My beautiful little Eddie passed away exactly one year later from the day my father passed, due to an accidental opioid overdose. His friendliness and creative spirit left an impression on all of those who have crossed paths with him.