We buried Dad today. It was a Catholic funeral, but I haven't been practicing in quite some time. What got me was the military honors. We had them in the chapel, since the ground was soggy from the snow and it was bitterly cold. I was presented with the flag that had draped his coffin. As I watched the men in uniform salute his coffin and fold the flag carefully, I thought about how right it was that people recognized the life of service he led.
My sister's boyfriend said of my Dad: "John Patitucci took care of his shit." And he did. He served his country when asked and took care of his family at all times. He knew what his duty was, and he did it, with no bitching. At the end of his life, he was an echo of himself, but remnants remained. He was honest and generous, and he loved with all his heart.
He's in the same plot as Mom and Mom's first husband now, and the flag that draped his coffin will remind me of his life more than the pretty prayers and words ever could.
Thank you for everything, Dad.