“Best Guy I Know” By Chris Zito

Today is my father’s 88th birthday. He’s my favorite guy and I hope he lives forever.


His most common look: The Smile


Here’s a short list of the man’s accomplishments:

He served in World War II. Whenever he speaks of it, which is only when you ask, he talks mostly of missing his family. No mention of how he and his buddies saved the world. He shares stories of getting packages from home, longing for home, and finally getting home.


Let’s see, to-do list…liberate France, defeat Nazi’s, go home.

He was married to the love of his life for 54 years and was her primary caretaker for much of the last thirty years of her life. They used to sit and hold hands even after all those years. I personally witnessed him copping a cheap feel on more one occasion. He never hesitated to show his affection in front of me.

Image
My Dad would never…grow a beard!

He raised five children on one income.  He worked long hours but never complained, at least not to us kids. On the contrary, he used to joke about it. “I only have to work half a day today. 12 hours”


“Just a few more hours and I’ll have enough bacon to bring home.”

He shared his deep faith with us, but never forced it on any of us. He’s a quintessential American Catholic. “Here’s what I believe and I believe it and know it deep in my bones. What you believe…that’s up to you.”
We’ve got an agnostic, a Buddhist, and a Episcopalian in our ranks and I’ve never seen him play favorites. And there is no question he respectfully went his separate ways with the Pope when one of his sons came out years ago.


“And please, Lord, help smooth things over between me and the Pontiff.”

In short, he has built a happy life. The man’s got one kidney and if anything were to happen to that one we’d all line up to give him one. That’s a guy that’s done a lot right in his life.

Happy Birthday, Dad. And a hundred more.

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11 Responses

  1. Hey, I thought Dad’s birthday was tomorrow. I thought he was a leap day baby… 88 years old but only 22 birthdays!

  2. I couldn’t have said it better, Chris. He was my Mom’s big brother and her always took care of her and never complained. We all knew he is a man you can depend on to help guide us through spots in our lives – as he also did for me – with thoughtful advice which was never forced on you, but given with love.

    My hisband says that Uncle Tony is the only guy that can chew your ass out and you’d never know it. His words are spoken softly but with authority.

    I can only wish him many, many more birthdays and I’m so privaledged to live close enough to see him as much as I can and many phone calls where he always is interested in my life as I am in his.

    I love you Uncle Tony!

  3. Wow Chris! I can feel the love you have for you dad in the blog. Good stuff, I love him now too!

  4. I loev it thanks brother.
    Love
    Mark

  5. Chris PLEASE tell him Happy Birthday for me, from me! What a fantastic blessing to have him as a father. And an Uncle. I spoke to him around XMas time & he sounded great, still. A great man.

  6. Happy Birthday Pap-Pap!!( love your post today Chris)

  7. Beautiful tribute!

    I think his real birthday is 29FEB1924, though because I remember having a conversation with your dad about he and I being “21” together.

  8. That is beautiful. You are a very fortunate bunch, the Zito’s.

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