things i miss about my dad - joe agoglia

These are just random thoughts that have come to mind...things I miss the most about my father. Many of these memories are brought to my awareness during everyday activities and often, it's those little things that my father did or things we once shared which make me miss him even more.

As you can see, the list continues to grow as our awareness of how special he really was to me and my family. It's not easy, however, to remember each thing since this is still very fresh for us. But with each passing moment, every anniversary and holiday, we recognize more clearly the person we once knew and loved. That's perhaps how most things are - we really don't know what we have or how special people are in our lives until they're taken away from us. For me, the challenge is trying to find the good in all of this, to stay positive and focus on the person my father was and not become embittered over this loss.

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on...that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." Rev. 14:13

This list helps me realize the magnitude of my father's presence in my life and, more importantly, it helps me to have a heart of gratitude. I've been given much with the years I had with my father and I want my attitude to be focused on the rich gift he was to me. Each entry helps me focus on the special times I had with him and less on what I don't have now. Focusing on such things helps me develop a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for the life and legacy he left behind. Some of these things may seem irrelevant; yet, when you lose someone so significant, you find that even the most trivial things were a huge part of the man I looked up to and admired.

  1. If I have a son one day, I'll miss you sharing the story with him of when you taught me how to tie my own tie.
  2. Watching you shine your own shoes. You always said that polished shoes gives one a professional edge.
  3. Attending a Mets game in the summer and enjoying a pre-game dinner at the NY Diamond Club, Shea Stadium.
  4. Celebrating Easter with the family topped by a seasonal dinner prepared by mom.
  5. Sitting on top of the Eagle Hill property and talking with you as we over looked the magnificent harbor. (inspired early this morning while I was back on that hill 4/7/07)
  6. Making new memories with you.
  7. Going on another workcamp project or missions trip together.
  8. Sitting in front of the computer, with your headphones on, and listening to a new ITUNES song.
  9. Emptying the dishwasher together - that unique system we had to unload and store all the dishes and silverware.
  10. Sitting in the auditorium at Camp of the Woods and enjoying the Christmas in August concert.
  11. Preparing your favorite summer salad: tomato with basil and sweet onions.
  12. Going to the Diamond Club for dinner, and then heading down to the field level to watch the Mets play.
  13. Hearing your distinct voice within the house or over the phone.
  14. Watching you get inspired over a new idea.
  15. Drinking your fresh lemonade after working outside with you on a hot, summer day.
  16. Enjoying your special homemade Italian sauce every Sunday afternoon as a family.
  17. Looking you in the eyes and calling you "dad," "pops," or "RoRo." (family name)
  18. Speaking to you in the present tense narrative. Everything now is past tense.
  19. Enjoying our favorite Brooklyn hero together (Salami and provolone with mustard, lettuce, and tomato on a hero).
  20. Watching you enjoy a fresh cup of homemade Italian ice (with fresh lemon peals) or rice pudding.
  21. Your weekend ritual of bringing home a fresh cup of Dunkin Donut's coffee for mother with her favorite roll.
  22. Your presence at all family gatherings.
  23. Your homemade hamburgers, placed on a seeded bun, and top with red onions, lettuce, & tomato.
  24. Your appreciation for the diversity of cultures.
  25. Your chef salads. They were the best ever.
  26. Your warm smile.
  27. Seeing you in your familiar beige raincoat and top hat.
  28. Discussing difficult issues or topics with you and getting your thoughts on the subject.
  29. That you won't get to sing, "I Love You A Bushel and a Peck" to my children as you did when I was a little boy.
  30. Hearing you whistle or hum a song under your breathe.
  31. Discussing the events and days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. We both shared that child-like anticipation of how special our celebrations would be as a family.
  32. Seeing yours and mom's names side by side on official documents.
  33. Sending you a humorous e-mail.
  34. Opportunities to give to you & mom (e.g., dinners, vacations, big and small surprises).
  35. Hearing you say, "I prayed for you today."
  36. Your optimistic attitude.
  37. Observing your excitement over a pending snow storm.
  38. Watching family home movies with you.
  39. Listening to our favorite Christmas songs during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. I still have those tapes you loved to play in the house and the car.
  40. That I can't jot-down on a small, handwritten note of how much I appreciate you and then hand it to you.
  41. Getting to be a part of the unique bachelor party you and Uncle Danny agreed to do when I got engaged.
  42. Go kayaking or canoeing upstate, out east on the island, or white water rafting in West Virginia as we planned to do.
  43. Getting fresh vegetables from the "farm" and preparing them later that evening.
  44. Going to Baiting Hollow Commons for the best clam chowder and seafood bisque on Long Island.
  45. Watching the All Star Baseball game each year with you.
  46. Seeking the best fireworks display with you on the evening of the 4th of July.
  47. Getting off the airplane and finding you standing by my gate. I always remember how special it was getting those warm hugs from you.
  48. Finding you resting on the hammock during a beautiful spring or summer day.
  49. Partaking in Memorial Day family barbeques.
  50. Seeing you drive the always dependable family suburban.
  51. Writing that book you and I agreed to write together - Christmas morning 2003, my last Christmas with you.
  52. The fact that we never got to finish listening to that James Taylor CD I bought you in VA.
  53. That we can never take a family photo again with all five of us.
  54. How you always placed a blanket on us and tucked it under our legs while we watched a movie or a great ball game, especially during the fall and winter seasons.
  55. Listening to MP3s together.
  56. Having you show up at our athletic events. You were always there to support us.
  57. The unique handwritten notes you would leave for each of us.
  58. Discussing with you issues going on in our world and hearing your godly view on things.
  59. Sharing new photos I took with my camera.
  60. Enjoying homemade chicken soup together during the winter season.
  61. Sitting down at Starbucks or Renaissance and talking over a cup of coffee. Wish we could enjoy just one more cup together.
  62. Watching "One Magic Christmas," "The Bishop's Wife," and the "The Christmas Carol" during the holidays. (Our favorite holiday movies.)
  63. Having all five of us around the dinner table during Thanksgiving and listening to everyone share what they were thankful for that year.
  64. Hearing you order your favorite breakfast at the diner: (2 eggs over easy, bacon, home fries, rye bread, coffee, and cranberry juice.) Now we order the same breakfast because it reminds us of you - our pops!
  65. Watching you downshift the suburban even though it was an automatic. The three of us would laugh so hard.
  66. Teasing us whenever a girl would call the house. For some reason, they would always call while we were sitting at the dinner table. (when we were teenagers)
  67. White water rafting in the Adirondack mountains.
  68. Raking leaves with you and jumping into the large piles we created.
  69. Smelling the scent of apple pies you placed in the oven at around 9 p.m.
  70. Pulling into the driveway very early in the morning after driving 8-12 hours and finding you flash the flood lights over the driveway. You were always awake waiting for your sons to return home, no matter what time it was. And then, you and Kole met us by the sliding door in the backyard.
  71. Watching you hop in one of the trucks in below-freezing temperatures and snow plowing with the boys. You truly had a servant's heart.
  72. Helping you unload the car after you filled the suburban with groceries. I believe, after you left the supermarket, they had to restock their shelves. :-)
  73. Sharing a slice of homemade bread with you which you purchased in NYC. You enjoyed your bread with a nice glass of Merlot (Woodbridge).
  74. Bringing home pizza late at night and sharing it with you.
  75. Receiving your care packages and finding a post-it note with your own special message written on it.
  76. Finding an e-mail with the name "Joe Agoglia" in my inbox.
  77. Introducing you to a new song. I loved being inspired with you as we listened to new songs.
  78. Watching Jets and Mets games on Sunday afternoons.
  79. Taking family vacations together.
  80. Taking the Long Island Railroad into NYC with you. I had so much fun as you shared with me the unique buildings, eateries, and all the special people you worked with at NYU.
  81. Your sense of humor.
  82. Your godly wisdom.
  83. Watching you handle very difficult situations.
  84. Showing you the various vegetables and herbs in my garden.
  85. Cooking homemade meals for you and mom.
  86. Getting a father's perspective.
  87. Asking you questions about dating and marriage.
  88. Taking walks out east and enjoying those summer days.
  89. Time alone with your three sons.
  90. Sitting on the deck with you, listening to the birds chirp and enjoying the cool breeze.
  91. Looking over the driveway and seeing you return from a long day of work.
  92. Going to the golf range and watching you hit a few golf balls. (I guess we'll have to play on the greens in heaven, pops!)
  93. Listen to you share your heart of compassion for those who were in need: those who were broken physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
  94. Praying with you or having you pray over us.
  95. Going to the TK Gallery Diner and discussing new ideas/dreams we had.
  96. Saying to you now, "I love you, pops!
  97. Of having one, large family vacation with mom, your sons, your daughter-in laws, and your grandchildren.
  98. Of telling you the great news that your grandchild is born and you're a grandpa.
  99. The joy and honor of (one day) placing your grandchildren on your lap.
  100. Sharing my heart with you, of how much you meant to me, and how you impacted my life; you still do!. (it grieves me that I can no longer do that)
  101. Sharing a new book with you.
  102. Asking you pertinent questions related to my business.
  103. Asking you personal questions relating to my life.
  104. Taking a walk with you and Kole and having the opportunity to ask you important life questions.
  105. Sharing with you my latest website launches or potential projects.
  106. Being formerly mentored by you (which we agreed would happen when I returned to NY).
  107. The fact that you will never meet my future wife.
  108. Asking him any question, knowing that his feedback would be sound and trustworthy.
  109. Seeing firsthand your immense compassion for widows, the poor, and children.
  110. Watching him feed and clothe those who were in need.
  111. Looking for a special Christmas, birthday, Father's Day, & anniversary card just for him.
  112. Shopping for presents just for you and then giving them to you Christmas morning.
  113. Seeing your excitement as the weather got colder.
  114. Watching you take your infamous notes whether it be in your Bible or on plain note pads. You had several books in you.
  115. Seeing you sit and worship next to mom in church.
  116. Driving to church as a family.
  117. Doing errands with you.
  118. Having you home for Thanksgiving.
  119. Seeing you at the head of the table for meals.
  120. Hearing your voice call my name.
  121. Watching you and your sister make each other laugh, both in person and over the phone.
  122. You and mom eating at your favorite restaurant - La Cucina.
  123. Watching my dad open the door for my mother, whether it be the door of a car, a store, or at home. Dad you were always a servant-leader.
  124. Seeing my parents together, sharing their love for each other, moving in their unique giftings, and ministering to many as a team.
  125. Meeting up in FL and sitting on the beach - Father with son. We would share our hearts, seek God's perspective, and then discuss how we could make a significant difference in this world.
  126. Having that shoulder to lean on when times got tough.
  127. Traveling upstate, NY, to Sunshine Acres with the Christian Service Brigade unit. How fun it was to go sledding/tubing down that big hill or playing ice hockey on the frozen river. I'm still reminded by friends of that incident - of how you packed our blue suburban with my friends and how you made us laugh hysterically. Everyone wanted to be with you.
  128. Camping outside and walking beside him in a remote location, deep within a forest. As a child I remember how safe I felt next to my dad, no matter how scared I was in the woods.
  129. Watching a great movie together.
  130. His ability to coach, cheer, and walk alongside others.
  131. Watching him thank and praise the Lord even under the most difficult situations.
  132. Going to the Italian food stores in Huntington and getting a variety of appetizers for our guests.
  133. His willingness to be transparent with me. His vulnerability allowed me to connect with him on a much deeper level.
  134. Hearing special stories of his childhood.
  135. Taking the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) into New York City and simply sharing the day together.
  136. His comforting words of unconditional love and affirmation after a significant relationship went awry.
  137. Bringing home new music from college and sharing it with him and being inspired.
  138. Friday night pizza traditions.
  139. His ability to strategize and network with key individuals.
  140. His "checking-in" with me to see if I was spending time with the Lord.
  141. His hugs.
  142. Going to Costco together after Sunday church and getting supplies and food for the next few weeks.
  143. Watching mom and dad prepare a special Thanksgiving meal and holiday together.
  144. Sharing a new idea with him and getting his feedback.
  145. His ability to forgive whenever I failed him.
  146. The way he connected with people from all walks of life. A person's background, their religious preference, the color of their skin, or one's vocation never hindered my father from befriending them.
  147. Sitting on the back deck together, enjoying the beauty of nature and the stillness of the moment.
  148. His energy and zest for life.
  149. Watching him encourage others through a simple word of exhortation, a smile, or through humor.
  150. Listen to him share his desire to impact men.
  151. Having a baseball catch in the driveway.
  152. His immense love for people.
  153. Working on business projects together.
  154. Going to Camp of the Woods (Adirondacks) for our family vacations.
  155. Making sandwiches, Lipton soup, and hot cocoa after being out in the snow.
  156. The way he loved my mother for 40 years.
  157. Shoveling snow (side-by-side) off our driveway.
  158. Setting-up the trains around the Christmas tree.
  159. Chopping firewood on Thanksgiving day.
  160. Setting-up the Christmas lights outside our home.
  161. Decorating the family Christmas tree.
  162. Barbeques during the summer months.
  163. Making our famous egg nog during the holiday seasons. (We will continue that tradition.)
  164. Sharing very special traditions.
  165. His famous Saturday morning breakfasts. None of us can replicate that.
  166. Coming down the stairs early in the morning and finding him on the floor spending time with the Lord, either in prayer or reading the Bible. (That image is burned within my memory.)
  167. His wonderful sense of humor.
  168. Building a fire with dad whenever it was cold outside.
  169. Traveling to the eastern-end of Long Island with my family and chopping down our Christmas tree.
  170. Getting an e-mail or phone message stating that he was praying for me early that morning.
  171. Returning home from college early in the morning and getting a big hug from him. He would always say, "It's great having you home."
  172. Dreaming with him. Talking about the "what ifs."
  173. His amazing creativity and "can-do" spirit.
  174. His presence in my life.
  175. Words of timely wisdom when I lacked it, and words of encouragement when I needed hope.
  176. Hearing his words to me, "I love you, and I'm proud of you, son."
  177. The privilege of saying, "I love you." (a common thing for us).