Happy Father’s Day Dad! My daddy has been gone for over 20 years, but he’s remembered in my mind’s eye… often. On this “Only the Good Friday,” I want to celebrate my Father… James Woodrow DiStefano.
Don’t you think my dad was a good looking man…. actually movie star material?
Last night, I attended the DiStefano family reunion planning meeting. As the meeting progressed, my thoughts went back to my Dad’s nonstop effort in getting an estranged family together after many years of separation.
My father, James, was the third child in a family of nine children… eight boys and one girl. (He’s the second from the right.) Dad’s family suffered through the depression, like so many others in rural Tabiona, Utah. His father abandoned his mother and the children, so Dad took on the role of Father and bread winner. He worked in a government CC camp, building a dam.
Just before he reached his twenty-first birthday, his mom pass away. The younger children were farmed out to be raised by relatives and friends. As time went on, the children married, but due to distance and circumstances… they had an “on and off” relationship with each other.
Dad felt it was important to get the family together to heal old wounds. The first couple of years were sparse in number but the numbers eventually grew. Now we have well over 100 family members that annually meet in Tabiona for two days of games, a raffle, dancing and of course feasting…. and feast we do. We have been gathering as a family for over 35 years now.
All of the original family members, except one, are gone now… but a great legacy has been left. (Dad is on the far right.) Extended family members may not see each other all year long but when we come together at the family reunion it feels friendly, comfortable and “at home.”
On this “Good” Friday before Father’s day, I want to say, “Thanks, Dad for having the love and foresight to bring an estranged family together for a “Good” time. Those who have gone on, would glad to know that we have continued this tradition in your absence.
Hope this Father’s Day finds you with a “Good” relationship or “Good” memories of your dad too.
P.S. For other “OtGF” news, visit our host, Shelly, over at This Eclectic Life. And of course, go see my my sister, Sheila at Newbie Lifeline. We share the same “Dad.” We come from a family of 6 girls. Poor Daddy. However, he never made us feel like he was disappointed in not having a son… another one of Dad’s “Good” qualities.