My father has waited my almost 50 years of life to show emotion. Prior to this, he said little. He used to tell me when I was in my 20’s and had to move back for 1 year that I will know something when he decides to tell me.

When I would drink too much at a local bar and stagger home he would say “you live here, you don’t act like that.” That’s why I only needed a year after college to accept my sister’s invitation to live with her while she was in law school. “You do what you want. If you go to jail don’t call me.”

Now 4 years after my mom was sick and 2 years after she passed away, he wants to hold nothing back. My dad calls me from the mausoleum where my mom’s name plate reads Giovannina R Suriano 1937–2019. He cries. I cry. This never happened until my mom died. Never.

My father tells me everything. Everyday. I call him at 8 am. Even on weekends. We talk about the weather. What’s happening in Italy as he watches the Italian news. Then he tells me what he’s planning for his day. Go to Wegman’s. Clean the bathrooms. Take a walk. The plan doesn’t deviate by much.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.