“Growing up in a standard issue broken home, I had the luxury of getting a great example of what not to be as a father.
My poppa stepped in the best he could. He was my mother’s stepfather and had helped to raise her. He was able to show me the work ethic needed for a family but not what it means to be a husband and a father. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I got the best example I could ever have, and how being good at one of those helps you to be good at the other.
My father in law, Elizardo Garriga, is by far the best example of a father and husband I could have ever asked for. He is a selfless man that has provided for and raised 5 amazing kids, my wife included. He takes the time to teach you and show you things the way only a father can, and he loves me and my family with everything he is.
He is selfless in the way he cares for his mother who struggles with Alzheimer’s, his wife who has a multitude of medical issues, and any of his children or siblings and their entire families when they need it. Recently retired from the Elevator Union, he should be focused on relaxing and taking all the time he has now for himself, but he won’t utter an ounce of complaint. He is the greatest man I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing in my life.
I have known him now 20 years and there have been a lot of experiences that would cause others to break. He has suffered loss and sacrifice but he never shows the true strain. In fact, I’ve only seen him cry three times.
Once when his best friend passed away suddenly, once when my son was attacked by a dog and he was in the hospital, and once when I was diagnosed with cancer. I consider myself to be the luckiest kid in the world to have a man like that love me. After my diagnosis, he showed up at the house just to sit and be there. He constantly looks for areas the he can help us from doctor’s appointments to coming to the house to help fix things.
He has shown me the true combination of father and husband. I wouldn’t be anything of what I am today if he had not let me into his life 20 years ago. He has been the foundation on which my wife and I have been able to build our lives.
So to him I say, ‘Thank you Papi, Bendicion.'”
(This is a picture of him dancing with my daughter at her Quincenera)
– Robert Cutrupi
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