A Father’s Day Thank You

Father’s Day has always been an awkward holiday for me… It’s not like I have one person to celebrate, I have 5… FIVE. I was always so embarrassed by this… I mean why couldn’t I just be normal and have one person to celebrate like all the other kids? For the first time in my life (at 30) I have realized it’s not awkward… It’s totally friggen’ awesome-sauce! I have grown to realize I am amazingly and wondefully blessed beyond what I can sometimes fathom.

On Father’s Day I remember the men in my life that have loved me and poured parts of themselves into my life to make me who I am.

To my Dad. You gave me life and loved me since the day I made my appearance on the planet. You spoiled me rotten when I was little and I would be lying if I said I didn’t love every second of it. I remember being 3 and sitting on your lap while you read me “The Night Before Christmas.” I remember the weekends we would spend with you watching movies on the rented VCR and building pillow forts across your living room. I will always remember pasta on Sundays before we went back to Mom’s (and don’t worry, I haven’t ever told anyone it was Ragu!) I remember learning how to ride my first bike sans training wheels and the time you got stung by a bee painting the shed. I remember the sub shop we used to go to for subs and “our table”  that we always sat at. I remember Burger King chicken sandwiches (The original, not the dollar menu!)… They have morphed into a guilty pleasure! Now that I am grown up, you have taught me to appreciate the finer things in life like amazing cuban cigars and olive martini’s (which have both become guilty pleasures!) I appreciate the time you have spent at our house having beers on the deck and just talking. You have played a vital role in my life and I am thankful you are the Dad that God chose for me.

To my Big Brudder. I don’t know how to tell you this, but I am kind of a big deal because of you. (did she really just say that?) You went far beyond the roles of being my big brother. As your baby sister, you took on the role of raising me. You taught me that you can have anything you want in life if you make the choice to work for it… Or have a really rock out big bro that spoiles you rotten! (kidding, kind of… But not really.) You taught me how to shoot a free throw, how to swing a golf club and how to properly shoot tequila. You taught me that joy can be found in everything from Tiffany’s blue boxes to a killer yoga session. From our crazy trips to Cabo, Chicago, Rome & NYC to tailgating in Ann Arbor and nights in Birmingham, you have been the best Big Brudder in the History of Ever! You have shown me a world of glitz and glamour I never knew existed… And then you showed me a world where you could find true healing and peace. Who knew NOT dancing on tables could be so much fun!? (But let’s not deny the fact that I still wildly love dancing on tables.) You have been my role model, tour guide, counselor, biggest cheerleader and CEO of the Desireé Melfi Fan Club. You loved me and protected me in the moments when I couldn’t provide that for myself. You are the Coolest Person I Know… and that says a lot because I know a lot of people… Wait. That came out wrong. It’s not me, it’s you. CHECKMATE, Homeboy.

To Jeff. You were there through some of the hardest most rebellious years of my life. Thank you for marrying my mom and her 3 kids. Most men would have high-tailed it out of there- you didn’t and I appreciate it. It wasn’t always perfect but it made growing up feel “normal.” Thank you for showing up at all my games with my Ma. For being there by my Ma’s side at the endless parent’s nights, orchestra and choir concerts, school performances and parent-teacher conferences. Thank you for carting me to the Country Club so I could caddy my rounds in the summers. Thank you for driving me to and from practices and for picking me up when I missed the bus. Thank you for grounding me when I was a completely out of control teenager and for reigning me in when I got too big for my 16 and 17 year old britches. You were a part of my life that I am grateful for and I will never forget the impact you had.

To my Papa B. You are missed everyday. When I get sad because I miss you, I let the promises of Christ flood my heart. I will see you in Heaven one day. We knew each other for 10 short years but in that time there was never a moment that you didn’t make me feel loved and cherished, like I was the daughter you never had. I didn’t understand why you loved me so much- but that was only because I was still learning how to love myself. I remember the first time I met you and you sat on the edge of the chair in the living room talking to me. You were so happy your oldest son found a girl that was 100% Italian! You spoiled me to the ends of the Earth and always made sure I was taken care of. You were the only person on Earth I will ever let call me “De” or pinch my cheeks. Your imprint is everywhere in our home. From the flower garden you created just for me to the shed you built with your son in our backyard. My husband still tells me you may have loved me a little more than him. Papa B, you were the best of the best and you raised an incredible son- One that I am honored to be able to call my husband. I am blessed to have been able to have you as my father-in-law. In your death, I saw clearly your life. You taught me a multitude of lessons that I can’t wait to share with you one day.

To Seib-Nutz. I don’t even know where to begin. The role you have added to our family is one that we were missing but never even knew it. You are the most loyal, trustworthy, upstanding Man (with a capital M) I have ever met. You were the first person to ever come into my life and refer to me as “Princess”… When I met you at 19, I was confident I would never be anyone’s Princess. Now, 11 years later, I can stand confident in my place and purpose in this world. You showed our family that fishing and shooting guns and cottages up North are cool. You showed us that pick-up trucks can have sweet rims and even old fishin’ boats go really really fast! You have expanded our city slicker horizons to include Jungle Safari’s in Northern Michigan. You have taught me not to be such a sissy and that bear traps… Well, let’s not go there. Since I have known you I have learned that if you wear stilettos in bars past Mt. Pleasant, MI people will say bad things about you. I also learned the (still wildly annoying) song “Oh what a beautiful day!” can put a smile on my face at 6 AM (even if I am just being polite.) You’ve extended to me kindness, grace and love. You have shown me the love from a Dad that I had never experienced. I am beyond blessed to have you as my step-dad.

Cheers to Celebrating the Impact, Dez

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