My father became ill in May and complications with his health continued to worsen as the weeks went by. For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been at my family’s home to help my mom care for him. He was in and out of the hospital. At one point, he was in ICU and required emergency dialysis treatment. Within the span of a few weeks, the liver cancer was no longer treatable and hospice was called to the scene. My father passed away at home on June 30th just before 6am.
Below is the eulogy I shared at his vigil this past weekend:
My dad was from a different era. Typical of that day and age, he took on the ‘man of the house’ type of role. He supported his family well; the best he could in the ways he knew. He always made sure we were cared for, fed, clothed and healthy. He was loving and taught me responsibility and reasoning, as he did all us kids. He shared his love of camping with us and showed me as much car maintenance as I could handle. He taught us quite a lot and did so much for us as we grew through the years.
He took this role as father seriously, so much so, that he sacrificed quite a bit. One of the things that really made an impact on me was the fact that he gave up his hobby of motorcycle riding when I was a little girl. My dad loved to ride a motorcycle for most of his youth. When my brothers and I were quite young, he got into an accident and that is all it took… he chose to sell his motorcycle and never ride again. Not only did such an accident scare him, as it would anyone, but he knew he could no longer take the risk with a family that he loved.
Here are some of my memories of my dad:
He had a sense of humor and was funny. He enjoyed his time with us. When I was learning to read, I remember sitting on his lap reading aloud for him with one of his magazines. I got stuck on the word determined. I sounded it out as “deter–mined” … and he had quite a laugh at my innocent attempt to sound out a big word… so I, too, laughed… and we giggled for quite some time. He helped me to learn the meaning of that word and how to pronounce it correctly. As I look back at that sweet, loving memory now, it seems serendipitous – the word determined has become so applicable in my life. And truly, all of my family’s lives.
An unspoken passion of his was music. He whistled or sang to all those 50s and 60s songs as he did his worked around the house caring for the home my parents so lovingly created for us. I remember laying on his belly after dinner as he watched a skit show called Shanannana. He’d sing along as we laughed at the skits.
What I believe is that we come into this physical form to learn certain things that our spirit has set out to experience in this life time. And I believe that we have soul connections with others who are here with us on this journey… to exchange and grow in certain ways that we agree upon before we take on this life. Everyone we meet or interact with, whether the woman at the check-out counter or our best friend or our parent, offers something we can grow from. As with each of you, my father had something to teach me, and I him, in more ways than I can even comprehend as I write this.
What I have learned about him now that I’m all grown up is that my father was a sensitive soul with a big heart. I see now that as a stoic Italian man, he had to guard his sensitivity … so he portrayed a strong demeanor. But he is a gentle teddy bear under that armor and there were many moments when that heart of his shined through. I’m deeply grateful he was my father ….and so very fortunate to have had this precious last month by his side as we all came together to help him through this last stage of life. It was a time I will always cherish.
Thank you, Mom and Paul and John for being my family.
Thank you, Dad, for all that you were in my life. As you rejoin with your beloved son Anthony in the afterlife, I know that you are with us and always will be. I will miss your presence in my life.
Tom Bartiromo’s family describes him as: a loving husband to his wife Linda, and father to his four children, John, Gina, Anthony and Paul and brother to his sister, Sandy. He is now reunited with his deceased son, Anthony, who departed this world very suddenly in 2005 which was a very painful experience for the entire family and all of Anthony’s loved ones. Tom is also reunited with his beloved parents, Christine and Thomas and his Uncle Joe and Aunt Julie.
Tom was an excellent provider. He enjoyed yearly camping trips with his family and enjoyed visiting national parks to learn about the beauty and amazing history this world offers. He enjoyed boating and fishing. He liked target shooting and working in the garden with his family. He had a passion for music and joyfully sang along to the music of the 50s and 60s while he worked around the house. He also taught his 3 sons and his daughter quite a bit about life, including how to work on their cars and so much more. And being a true Italian man, Tom dearly loved Italian family dinners!