I was never fully aware of all the things that our folks did for us until I was grown up and moved out of the house, and experienced having to buy my own toilet paper. Just think about it; something as simple as that, a thing as kids we mostly took no notice of because it was always there and we never had to worry about it, like a lot of things. Perhaps for us it was a subliminal lesson we learned when we were young; it seems that the folks were instilling in us what we needed for the future, for us to grow up to be giving of ourselves without question or expecting any kind of reciprocation. Often times in life we take for granted what others do in order for us to be safe, secure and enabling us to live our lives without the care that we wont have the things we are accustomed to, and in our family there are many who fit that description.


For example, Pete Jr, Frank, Joe and Steven all made a career in the Military, and Ralph did four years, all of them long served our nation. Sailing on world cruises, going to war, Joe spent a year on Diego Garcia and Frank put in two years on Guam. I pay my humble respects to them and to all of the military folks who served in the past, in the present and even into the future.  Even when Dad was in Alaska during WW2 he helped to build airfields for the Seabees, so our family has a long history of service. What can you say about all the people who decide to leave the familiar and comfortable trappings of home, where everybody you love is? Many have done just that; and for all sorts different reasons they leave home and mainly only return to visit.


Remy left her whole family in Hawaii to come to the mainland and make another life for herself, and when she arrived over here all she had was a suitcase and her dreams. Shes missed all the holidays, most of the weddings, funerals and birthdays over there. Yet she is not alone in that, there are so many others who have all done the same in our family and in her family too. Seems to be a part of life sor those who do that, unlike some of us who would never leave home. She says you have to follow your path.


Ill always be eternally grateful to Vicky for all shes done for the family, her unwavering strength and fortitude will forever be an inspiration to me. As much as shes been through she puts others before herself. How many folks can you say that about? She is the type of person who gives to everyone and that is just the way she is, no matter when, where or reason why. And she would never give herself credit for all she does, and shes never changed in that respect. People could learn from her example.


We see it all around us; weve seen it all our lives the selfless act of doing for others that is as simple as a call to say hello or as involved as Frank and Joe going cross country for a weekend wedding, or making the effort to be there when a friend passed away. I think the ability to do those types of things is not a learned behavior, its something that people in our family have within themselves and its a way of life for them. They never question; they just do it and I am happy to say they are my family.


As I recall I never heard Mom and Dad complain with all of us to raise, and neither did Pete Jr, Frank, Joe, Remy or Vicky, and they have all passed it on. And as generations renew, I know they will pick it up and carry it on in the same fashion.


When I think of those in my life who have touched me personally, theres not enough love, thanks and praise to give them and Id like to offer a heartfelt and sincere salute to all of them for the sacrifice.