The following was written by Guest Blogger, and True Beauty: Lisa Alfieri
Five years ago, I lost the most important man in my life. Not only was he a friend, a mentor, and a true inspiration, he was my father. Five years seems like such a long time, but its short in comparison to the 19 years I was able to spend with him. Rick Alfieri was one of the most unbelievably caring and humorous men I have ever encountered in my life. He gave his all when it came to his family and made us completely aware that he would always be there, and he still is. I can still hear his contagious laughter and remember his goofy quirks. He was my teammate and my rock, my strength and my role model. Every day I feel his presence in my life, whether it be a song that I needed to hear RIGHT THEN on the radio, or his random cameos in my dreams.
There is a song by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones called "The Impression that I Get," and one line struck me especially after I lost my father unexpectedly on January 4th, 2008. "Have you ever been close to tragedy, or been close to folks who have? Have you ever felt a pain so powerful, so heavy you collapse?" Sadly enough, at the hospital that day, I fell straight to the floor from the sheer shock of losing my father so unexpectedly. But the best part is that I picked myself back up. I went back to school a week after his death and continued on with my life, because as my brave and wonderful mother said when I asked her if I should go back to school: "What would your dad want you to do?"
I grew up with two loving parents, and as much as they loved each other, it doubled in their love for David and I, their children. My mother, in her weakened state, kept looking at my brother and I, gasping through tears "My other half, my other half, what do I do without my other half?" I looked back at her and said "Well at least you still have your quarters!" She laughed. My mother is a beacon of hope and love, and she has now happily moved on with the wonderful Jim. She had way too much love in her heart to not be happy with someone else, and I think if my dad could ever have the pleasure of meeting Jim, he would shake his hand and tell him he appreciates putting that light back into my mother's eye.
I am a different person as a result of my dad's death. When I tell people he died, they say "Oh I'm sorry." Well oddly enough, I'm not. Like I said previously, I learned more from him in 19 years than most children can learn in an entire lifetime from their father, and I am eternally grateful to him for that. I have become a strong, independent woman, and I know he is smiling down on me every day; at my accomplishments, my decisions and my "go get it" attitude. They don't call me Rick Alfieri's daughter for nothin.
So I wanted to end with my favorite quote that my dad wrote to me in a Kairos letter, with his ever-love for music and family: "Keep a song in your heart, a twinkle in your eye, and think about your old man every once in a while." And I do, Dad. I really do.