Onions: My Barrier to Holiness

February 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog, cultural manliness, Fatherhood, Virtue

Lent is intended to be a season of penance, of self-reflection, of growth, of personal introspection, and ultimately, we should be working to “die to self”.  I’m terrible at it.  Here’s a lame story.  Let’s call it the “onion-idiot story.”  I’m the onion-idiot.

Last Friday was the 1st Friday of Lent 2018, and my beautiful wife, Catherine, (who is a phenomenal chef!) made a meatless cheese and broccoli soup.  (It was even Keto-friendly, which we are currently utilizing as our fueling system.  Perhaps more on eating Keto in the future?)  The soup was VERY tasty.  The ingredients were fresh.  The flavor was amazing.  It probably wasn’t much of a Lenten sacrifice, other than the fact that it didn’t have bacon in it!  There was only one problem: onions.

I HATE ONIONS.

It’s not the taste.  It’s not the texture.  It isn’t even that they make you cry.  It’s the smell.  They stink.  Terribly.  Whenever I smell an onion, it is as if it embeds its stink in my nasal cavity, and won’t evacuate the premises for days on end.  It’s stench digs deep into my skin’s pores, and it won’t leave.  I hate onions.  [I apologize if you like onions… this has nothing to do with you, it’s my issue.]  And I’m assuming you’re seeing where this is going.

Catherine knows this about me, and hasn’t cooked onions (one of her favorite ingredients!) in our home for years – all because she knows, very explicitly, how I feel.  I’m very grateful.  And how do I show her how grateful I am?  I complain.  I make it known just how bad it smells in the house.  I put every sort of smell-good mechanism that we own directly in the ‘on’ position.  I turned on the vanilla-scented burners, sprayed the air freshener, and even opened up windows and doors on a cold February day.  The smell was still in the… well… everything. Yuck.

Saturday rolled around and Catherine wanted to eat leftovers.  She considered – again, because of how much she loves me – taking the soup leftovers over to her parent’s house to warm and eat it there, just so the onion smell wouldn’t be present in our home again.  I still complained.  I still made childish comments.  Then, in my only moment of reasonable interaction surrounding these onions, I got the leftovers out, pulled out the bowl, and warmed up the soup for her.

I had already failed miserably in terms of “dying to self”.  What a stupid thing, too.  Onions.  Onions are my barrier to holiness.  I need to learn to keep my mouth shut, bear difficulties with humility, and realize that onions (read that “my own preferences/wants/desires/me-me-me”) are keeping me from true holiness.  If we were to apply this to anything else, especially something that matters, we’d hopefully see that when we die to self, we love others.  When we love others, we fulfill who we are as men.  The culture is extremely interested in destroying the idea that men can love.  That love, which they reduce to a mere emotion, is feminine.  Love, in actuality, is so much more and is required for authentic masculinity.

There are countless exercises that we can all work on to die to self.  And some might think that because I’ve been in this thing we call the Christian journey for so long that I’d have this down, but I don’t.  Can you believe how ridiculous I am?! 

In order to get better at something, we need to practice it and rely on God’s grace! So, here’s what I’m going to do today to die to myself: first off, I’m going to go home and tell my wife that I love her, give her a big, meaningful hug and kiss, and ask her about her.  Nothing to do with me.  Next, I’m going to find 5 little ways (one per my wife and 4 children) to choose someone else’s preference and never make mention of it.  And, I’m going to try to sustain that every day… slowly working to lose my own preferences (ultimately, the goal is to become selfless in all things, and not selfish, ie: prideful) and offering up in prayer my ‘suffering’ for their sanctification.  If you struggle with dying to self, try it with me.

TrueMan up!

Re-Post: The Miracle Baby (7 Years Later)

February 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, manliness, Virtue

***This is a re-post, originally from February 9, 2011.***

With great pride, and extreme joy, I write this post about my first son, David Walter DiNuzzo Jr.  I pray that the story of his journey from womb to world is inspiring, faith-sharpening and encouraging for all those read it.

The starting point of this story is ambiguous to me, because I believe that to successfully trace the steps back far enough we have to go way back into my past.  I don’t want to prolong the story here, so I’ll skip those past details for now and move right into this most blessed and miraculous story.

On the last Sunday in January 2011, my wife Catherine, now thirty-nine weeks and one day pregnant (why do they jip women out of the 10th month?  40 weeks, which is full term, is 10 months!) noticed some significant bleeding.  Concerned for what this might mean, we went into the hospital’s triage area.  This was visit #4 to triage for this pregnancy.  Nothing came of this visit because the baby sounded great on the monitor and it appeared that the bleeding had subsided.  Later the same day, Catherine noticed that the bleeding had begun again.  Again, we made our way into triage and this time, received an ultrasound.  Trip #5.  The ultrasound hoped to determine, and possibly pinpoint, the source of the blood.  The ultrasound was unsuccessful.  We returned home, exhausted and concerned.  Catherine had an incredibly rough night of sleep, thanks to the severe contractions she was experiencing.  On Monday, she woke up to much more bleeding and a heightened amount of contractions.  Throughout all of this, Catherine remained calm and purposeful, desiring to give our baby the best start possible.  I love her for that, amidst a million other reasons.

After speaking with our CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife), we decided to head to the office for a check.  There, again, nothing could be determined, especially the cause of the bleeding.  Because of the ambiguity, it was decided that labor needed to be induced.  Although we are all-for natural, drug-free labors and births, we knew we had to secede here and do what was best for our boy.  We headed to the hospital.  Once we arrived and got settled (yeah, right), the drugs were administered and shortly thereafter, Catherine began to labor and WOW! she was doing incredible.  She was being a champ, doing better than I had ever seen her do previously.  After some time in labor, Catherine sensed that something was wrong.  She felt something coming, but knew it wasn’t the baby.  I suggested that our CNM check her.  While performing the check, our CNM Sharon (an incredible woman) noticed the problem – a prolapsed umbilical cord.  This means that the cord was going to be birthed first, which would have caused immediate rupture of the cord, as the head would have put immense pressure on the cord as it pressed against the cervix.  Next would have been loss of blood flow and oxygen, which would have been certain death for our son, not to mention potential death for my wife from blood loss through internal bleeding.

Thanks to quick thinking, solid understanding of the situation, as well as some divine intervention, Sharon actually kept Dave Jr.’s head from pressing on the cord anymore than it already had been.  As she kept pressure on his head, away from the birth canal, she hopped up on the gurney and rode all the way into the operating room and remained in that position until the crash c-section was performed and Dave Jr. was out.  (From the time Sharon checked Catherine until the time Dave Jr. was out was a total of only four and a half minutes.  Incredible.)  At this point, I was unable to be in the operating room.  This was quite difficult and a very telling time for me.  (I’ll explain that more below.)

Dave Jr. in NICUFast forward… Sharon came out and told me that Catherine was doing fine.  She was still under, because of the general anesthesia, and would be under and then quite groggy for a decent amount of time.  Then she broke the news to me about Dave Jr.  He wasn’t breathing and had a heart beat of around 40 beats per minute.  He was still in the operating room, and I was anxiously waiting to see him wheeled out.  He had to be resuscitated with CPR and intubated.  He was given a shot of epinephrine to the heart, and was shocked twice with the paddles.  He was without oxygen for approx 4-6 minutes.  A respiratory nurse was “bagging” him, and they finally wheeled him out and headed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  About a minute later, I was allowed into the NICU.  I witnessed as a team of nurses and doctors performed various procedures on him, including placing IV feeding tubes into his belly button (through the remaining umbilical cord stump) and placing him on a ventilator.

Initial discussions of Dave Jr.’s time in the NICU were anywhere from one to two weeks or even more.  It was amazing that Dave Jr. made it, many babies don’t, let alone what happened next.  Almost immediately, Dave Jr.’s body color turned to a perfect pinkish tone.  He began to kick and punch.  His heart rate was regulating itself.  His breathing was getting much better and he was extubated.  (I actually witnessed him reach up with his fingers and pull the nasal tube out himself!)  He was only on the ventilator about an hour and a half.  His vital signs were great, his organ function was all normal and he was regulating his own temperature.  Then, he began to eat normally and perform normal bowel functions.  Everything was coming into place.  What he was showing is, what I believe, his will and determination that will take him very far in life.  It matters not that he was without oxygen.  It matters not that he was close to death.  What matters is that he is here with us now and that God has great things in store for him.  I truly believe that he will have an incredibly abundant life and that his witness to the precious nature of life will speak volumes to those he comes in contact with.

My time in waiting, as I mentioned above, was very telling for me.  It showed me a bit of who I am and what I’m made of.  TheDave Jr. situation was chaotic and troubling.  I was unable to help, unable to assist the doctor, the nurses, my wife or son.  As I waited, alone, for what seemed like hours, I could hear nurses and doctors, but never heard a baby crying.  I knew it wasn’t a good situation.  I had to decide what I was going to do.  I could have denied what was happening, believing some other sort of (un)reality.  I could have panicked.  I could have thought the worst was going to happen.  I could have been overly emotional.  I could have placed blame.  I could have gotten angry.  (I could have gotten angry and placed blame on God.)  I could have struggled with my faith.  I didn’t do any of that.  I chose something different.  I chose to pray.  I chose to surrender.  I chose to relinquish any and all control that I thought I may have had at some point or another.  I chose to trust.  I placed all that I needed, all that I cared about, all that I hoped for, all that I worried about at the foot of the cross.  I gave it to Him.  I asked Him to give me strength.  I trusted and my faith prevailed.

Dave Jr. and SharonI figured that if I wavered, or if I lost trust in God, my Creator, that the last many years of my life would be for not.  That everything I’ve said, prayed, preached, wrote, spoke or posted would be a contradiction to what I actually believe.  I would have to quit my ministry job and move on to something else.  I would not be the TrueMan I hope and strive to be.

Instead, I remained strong.  I’m proud to say that!  I didn’t waver.  I didn’t lose trust.  I held on to everything that I have learned, prayed about, desired and knew that was in me.  So when Sharon came out to tell me what was going on, before I knew that Catherine and Dave Jr. were okay, I could honestly look at her and tell her that I was okay.  She was very concerned for me, assuming that I would really be struggling.  I wasn’t, I let my faith in God’s plan comfort me.  I put my emotions in check and responded reasonably and rationally.  Although we haven’t spoken about it much lately, virtue is the key… it is what got me through.  I don’t profess to have any of the cardinal virtues, but I believe that I have the virtue of faith.  I feel blessed to have that virtue and even more blessed that my wife and son are alive and well.

Here’s to my little TrueMan – TrueMan up!

***UPDATE: This re-post is being written in February 2018… 7 years after Dave Jr. was born.  He defied all the odds, and is an incredible young man.  He functions at an incredibly high level, excels at school, is a multi-sport all-star athlete, and a very kind and generous little soul.  He is a gentleman, and professes to want to be a priest when he grows up!

“Tuesdays with Daddy” are BACK!

February 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog, Fatherhood, Tuesdays with Daddy

In the early days of TrueManhood, going back to the earliest version of these posts in November of 2009, I began writing posts entitled “Tuesdays with Daddy”.  At the time, because I worked lots of nights and weekends, I was able to work my schedule so that I could stay home on Tuesdays, which afforded me special time with my children.  Back in 2009, my wife and I had our first two children; our young daughters… only 2 and 1 years old.  At that point, parenting – especially the aspect of being a great father – was foremost on my mind.  I was trying to figure out just how to parent and wanted to give my kids everything they could ever need, especially a spiritual foundation that was strong in our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.  I wanted to be a super dad.  Now, nearly a decade later, I still want to give them everything, and I work hard to be a super dad, but it looks a bit different.

Experience. Wisdom.  Suspense.  Heartache. Frustration.  Exhaustion.  Trial and error; okay, maybe more error than anything. Lots of words can be used to describe parenting.  However we slice it, life comes at us hard and fast, and kids develop quickly, and as parents, we have to stay on top of our game.  These days, my four children are in such a cool place.  They are incredibly active (involved in great academic endeavors, playing numerous team sports, training in mixed martial arts, studying piano and voice, becoming young chefs, and open to all kinds of activities and experiences!), not to mention that they are all at the ages where we can begin to have deep conversations that are meaningful, formative, and long-lasting.  Their spiritual formation is “on point”, as the cool kids say, and they can reasonably make their way through questions of faith, apologetics, and morals.  They’re pretty young for those types of deep convos, but I embrace it and can’t wait to share more with you!  My wife tends to meet with counseling clients on Tuesday afternoons and evenings, and that means that I find myself back with some special time with them on Tuesdays!  Hence, “Tuesdays with Daddy” are back.  I likely won’t be posting every Tuesday, but when good content pops up, you’ll be the first to read about it.

This first-post-back, I don’t have a radical story from Tuesday.  Rather than take you through the daily grind, I want to share a few experiences that occurred recently and how we worked through them.  First off, my son turned 7 a few days ago, and he received Heely’s from Grandma in the mail.  (Heely’s are shoes with wheels in the soul, like one-wheel roller skate shoes.)  He wanted to take the little wheel-removal-tool and be able to swap the wheels in and out.  I “ixnayed” that quickly because I know that once those wheels come out, either 1. They’ll be lost or 2. They’ll never go back in quite right, rendering the shoe worthless.  But, he’s 7 and likes to push the limits, so… he asked me about three times if he could have the tool.  He then asked my wife where the tool was, “just in case I ever need it”, he said, and then after dinner, I spotted him looking for the tool again.  I called him over, and firmly gave him my clear expectations.  After I laid out numerous reasons why he would forfeit his shoes to me if he took the wheels out, I had him repeat back to me what I just told him.  He heard me, repeated it back verbatim, and I highly doubt that he’ll ever try to take the wheels out.  So, it’s not really about the shoes or the wheels.  It’s not about his age.  It’s not about letting him make mistakes on his own terms  For me, it was about him knowing that I set a clear expectation for him and that there would be a clear consequence should he break the rule.  

Over the decade-plus of my being a dad, I’ve realized that there are plenty of times to take a stand, and plenty of times to let things slide.  The hardest part is knowing the difference.  This brings me to another great parenting point… and I certainly didn’t coin it, but absolutely believe in this principle wholeheartedly… “rules without relationship will end in rebellion.”  If a child only receives rules and punishment when he breaks them, but doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the rules, or the reasoning behind it doesn’t come from a place of love, then they will inevitably rebel.  David Jr. knows from the relationship that we have, that “Daddy is hard on you but you can absolutely live up to the expectation because you are good, you are loved, and you are so stinkin’ awesome!”

Another event that happened on Tuesday was the simple opportunity to cuddle with my 5 year old.  Her name is Maria and she is the “baby of the family.”  She is so incredible, and all she wants is to cuddle into Daddy’s arms and talk, or watch a home improvement show, or just “be”.  To the dads out there who are reading this, are you giving your kids enough physical touch?  They are in serious developmental stages and physical touch is proven to improve their self-confidence, their ability to thrive academically, and their emotional well-being.  Evaluate yourself hard on this and step your game up, especially for that one troublesome child you have, that is hardest to love.  They are the one who needs it the most.

As “Tuesdays with Daddy” pick back up, I hope to bring some practical aspects of parenting to the table, and share our crazy-ish life, hopefully to help others, and perhaps just to make you crack a smile.

TrueMan up!

Los Levantadores – A Culture of Fit, Hard-working Men

December 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, manliness, Virtue

Levantadores2I recently watched an awesome documentary put out by Rogue Fitness titled “Levantadores – The Basque Strongman.”  It’s only about 30 minutes – I think it’s well worth your time.

Levantadores-fatherson

My good friend and fellow strongman Jared Zimmerer posted about it and shared many good thoughts (click this link or the photo above for his post), so I’m going to point you to his post instead of simply repeating everything he’s already said.  What I will write about to catch your attention are the following points:

  1. I am highly intrigued by the father-son relationships that take place in this culture of the Levantadores.  The fathers pass on the lifestyle of being a strongman, which means much more than simply how much a man can lift.
  2. These men are not only strong, they are determined, exude perseverance, and are faithful.  Without knowing these men personally, able to watch them, and judge their daily actions, it’s clear to me that they are tending towards virtue.
  3. At the heart of this culture is faith and family.
  4. Their culture isn’t self-serving or self-centered… they are united in common bond, for the greater good, and the improvement of one another.
  5. Their strength is incredible.
  6. Their fitness is functional, meaning that it’s usable and they use it!  This is what I strive for with my workouts through CrossFit.  Functional fitness for a healthy lifestyle.

Levantadores

Here’s the video.  Enjoy!


After you watch the documentary, please send me your thoughts on social media comments or via email. Dave@TrueManhood.com.

TrueMan up!

Men, I Exhort You

Into the BreachFrom time to time, bishops write what are called ‘apostolic exhortations’… a letter or article or writing that calls the people to a higher level of knowledge on a topic… that encourages the reader to live a particular way, or to consider a worldview that may be different from what they currently believe and are living.  Many apostolic exhortations have to do with modern crisis and societal concerns that the bishop desires to spend time and effort working to correct.  The latest of these exhortations comes from a great man, a great shepherd of the people, and a wonderful bishop, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix in Arizona.  Watch the trailer below to be inspired to read the exhortation, which you can find by clicking on the link below.

Click HERE to get to the exhortation.  It is lengthy, and the website has much more on it than just the exhortation, so be prepared to save the site and come back to it as you need to.

Bishop Olmsted

I applaud the efforts of Bishop Olmsted and all the men and women who support him in this project.  He couldn’t be more right in what he says and writes… we are absolutely in a crisis and need the fullness of the teaching of masculinity to come out and to be spread.  That IS the work of TrueManhood Men’s Ministry and we stand in solidarity with Bishop Olmsted.

TrueMan up!

Did Pope Francis Just “OK” Divorce and Remarriage?

September 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, Evangelization, Faith, Scriptural Examples, Virtue

News came out recently about Pope Francis’ changes to the annulment process.  Many have questions, and some have bashed the Pope for these changes, saying he’s now, essentially, allowing divorce and remarriage.  The critiques come from, I believe, a ‘fundamentalist’ approach to the Scriptural beliefs of marriage, divorce, and remarriage (see Mark 10, for instance.)  However, Pope Francis isn’t just “okaying” divorce and remarriage – he is (in my humble opinion) making a pastoral move.  This move, as it were, is taking into account various aspects.  (Note: annulment is not divorce.  For more, read this post on Catholic.com.)  For TrueManhood, these aspects pertain to male leadership and faithfulness in general and I think they are worthy of discussion here.

Pope Francis

The various aspects I see in this new decree:

  1. Marriage has trended strongly towards being merely a civil agreement, not a sacramental union imaging the Most Holy Trinity.  When we reduce the Sacrament of Matrimony down to a civil contract, we are unable to freely give ourselves to our spouses, and it’s much “easier” to simply walk away.  Men – it is common for people to say that “men are afraid of commitment.”  I have witnessed this in some males, but not everyone.  For a marriage to work and work well, it is my belief that a man must absolute commit to TrueManhood each and every day.  If you screwed up yesterday, today is a new day.
  2. Marriage preparation, in many cases, is a laughable waste of time.  This sounds harsh, but the facts are the facts.  I hear story after story of people having terrible experiences in marriage prep, engaged encounters, and so forth.  This isn’t to say that they are all bad – I’m aware of many good programs and approaches – but it’s something the Church must remedy.  Priests (often whose hands are tied for various reasons) consent to marry uncatechized persons who are regularly breaking many of the Church’s basic requirements (ie: not actively involved in the life of the Church, cohabitating, engaged in pre-or-extramarital relations, contracepting, and so on) and thus bringing into question the validity of the sacrament from the very beginning.Infidel groom
  3. Marriages are ending in divorce at a staggering rate, and those involved need salvation too.  Pope Francis has proven time and again that he takes the pastoral approach (that of the Good Shepherd… think “leave the 99 for the 1 lost sheep”) because people need love, care, and relationship before they will ever follow a set of rules.  This is really the heart of true evangelization.  Because of #’s 1&2 above, this group of individuals (again, uncatechized – meaning that they don’t know the teachings of the Church, thus are unable to apply them to their marriage and unevangelized – meaning that they don’t know the person of Jesus Christ in an intimate relationship) believe that they are unable to now be a part of the life of the Church (which is the means that Christ gave us to be united with Him in Heaven) and therefore leave.  Pope Francis wants to minister to these people, and allow the faithful to do the same.
  4. The process for annulments has been extremely time consuming and costly.  Although we don’t wish annulment on anyone, when valid, it is the right thing to do and to be granted by the Church.  For some dioceses, the process takes years and costs hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.  Pastorally, this isn’t helping the families in need of annulment, but making it much more difficult.  Pope Francis’ plan is to streamline the process, cutting the Tribunals down from 2 to 1, and giving the judges more decision-making abilities.  Some take this as lessening the process so as to be able to give annulments out like candy… but that’s not what this is at all.  The entire process of annulment will still take place, but should be much more cost effective (Pope Francis wants them to be free, if at all possible) and be a much quicker process.
  5. The legal nature of annulments has likely turned some away from Catholicism towards other denominations.  Because of the above mentioned issues, and the stigma that “a divorced person isn’t welcome in the Catholic Church”, this legalese is driving a wedge between baptized persons and a community which would support and build them up.  The Church’s mission is for the salvation of all, not just a select group of people who are sinless.  Because we all sin, we all need salvation!

annulment (1)

I’m very well aware of the struggles of marriage… it’s really stinkin’ hard!  Sometimes, annulments are what is right and good.  When this is the case, they should be granted.  When it’s not, then they shouldn’t.  Whatever your current status (single, married, divorced, annuled, widowed, etc.) I suggest that you look up the Church’s teaching on marriage, why She says that marriage is so important, why She teaches that marriages are indissoluble, and why spouses should fight together to save their marriage.  Use the Catechism of the Catholic Church, along with Sacred Scripture, encyclicals, writings of the saints (DEFINITELY see Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s work on the matter!) and see how it benefits your life.  It will enrich you and hopefully you’ll be able to share that with someone else who might be in need of the knowledge too.

To Pope Francis: thank you for challenging us all to be more pastoral and loving in our interactions and evangelization efforts.  We could take a legalistic approach, but that will likely push people away.  Instead, we remain faithful to the Church, with a true heart of charity, desiring that all come to know, love, and serve God.  Specifically for the men reading this post, I want to encourage you to study the Church’s teaching on marriage, and then lead your wives/families in it.  If your marriage is struggling at all, and you do this, you’ll find that the Church is urging the spouses to become a total gift of self, like Christ did for his bride (the Church).  When you do this, marriage is what it is supposed to be.  When you do this, marriage plays a huge role in your sanctification and your evangelization.  Men, it’s now that we have the opportunity to shift the world’s thinking on what marriage is and how to do it successfully.

TrueMan up!

A TrueMan’s Marriage – Happy 50th Dad & Mom!

September 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, For Women, manliness, Military, Virtue

Happy 50thI’ve had a front row seat to one of the greatest marriages in the history of time.  Today, my parents celebrate 50 years of marriage!  A tremendous feat!  I’m extremely proud of my parents and want to publicly acknowledge their love, their sacrifice, and their unfailing commitment.  You make me better, you aid my marriage, and I am so grateful for you.

Dad and Mom

I’ve written (and moreso, spoken) about my Dad on many occasions.  He’s an amazing man, and is/was a leading example for me in my pursuit of TrueManhood.  He has tons of characteristics that I love and admire, and I wouldn’t be half the man I am today if it wasn’t for him.  Here are some of the major highlights:

  • My Father loves my Mother unconditionally; everything he does is directly related to my Mother’s well-being, her concerns, her likes, her desires.  His example of how a man cherishes his wife is second to none. #awesomehusband
  • My Father serves my Mother unfailingly.  For the entirety of their marriage, my Father has worked his tail off so that my Mother could have safety, security, comfort, and so that she would be able to do what she was created for. #whenamanlovesawoman
  • My Father is the consumate gentleman.  As a child, the example of being a gentleman was constant from my Father.  My virtues related to being a gentleman (mostly in the area of Justice) is 100% correlated to my Father’s behavior and high standards. #gentleman
  • My Father cherishes all women.  Sincerely, my Father has a heart of service towards the fairer-sex… never failing to serve a female, no matter what the need may be.  He’s always polite, always charitable, always deferent to the women he encounters.  I cannot recall, even once, when I’ve seen my Father choose himself over a woman.  He has always cherished my aunts and female cousins (there were far fewer of them than male cousins), and treated every female stranger with the utmost respect.  #womenarethecrownofcreation
  • My Father is a hard worker.  Still today in his 70’s, with both knees repaired and a major back surgery, my Father does his own maintenance on his house, takes care of his vehicles himself, serves in numerous ways at his parish, helps me and my brothers, and serves on a non-profit board.  The spirit of our bluecollar family, passed down from generation to generation, comes to me from him.  #hardworker

I would also be remiss, especially on this most somber of days for America (9/11), if I didn’t mention my Father’s 30-year career serving our country as an enlisted serviceman in the United States Air Force.  30 years!  Talk about dedication.

Dad and Mom 2

My Mother – I certainly don’t want to leave my Mother out of the conversation… and in fact, I couldn’t talk about my Father without talking about my Mother as well.  She is a huge part of my Father’s character.  From the moment they met, my Mother has challenged my Father to be who he is.  She brings the best out of him, and holds him to the very highest of standards.  It wouldn’t be a shock to tell you that their complementarity is so perfect that they make each other more holy; the point of marriage!  The perfect way that my Mother fits my Father, and returns his love and service with more love and service, is a testament to her devotion and care for him.  They truly are the perfect spouses for one another.

Jesus had Joseph and Mary – the Holy Family.  I have Tony and Charlene – great examples of love, service, dedication, and faithfulness.  Thanks Dad and Mom – Happy Anniversary!

TrueMan up!

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