Today is a retrospective look at the open communication that was posted on my husband’s Facebook page yesterday. It was apparent that my husband Victor, my beloved spouse of 24 years, needed to get something off his chest. March 15th is a very emotional day for him and normally he would keep things bottled up, take a few antacids, and lose himself in some random comedy to shut out his feelings. Yesterday he approached his pain differently. I would like to share these posts, much rather like a blog, to hopefully open the door to communication on this very difficult topic. I think a blog such as this would be very helpful for some that may be suffering in silence.
Victor’s FB Post: MARCH 15, 2016 at 8:01am
I never post anything about my parents or the topic of death. 25 years ago today on March 15th 1991 my father died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident on February 16th 1991. I was devastated. He was in the hospital for 5 weeks. In the beginning there was hope that he would be ok. That hope lasted with my mother and I until the day he died. My father was very excited that Melissa and I were getting married. Our wedding was 1 year and 2 months after he died. He never made it to the wedding. He never walked my mom down the aisle. I really wish he could have met my daughters Victoria and Samantha. I know he would have loved them so much. He would have been the most proud grandpa. My dad was a happy, family oriented guy. I guess that’s where I get it from. I see some of him in Samantha and I see a lot of him in Victoria. I guess you could say he lives on in them.
I Miss You Dad
*It’s interesting to note that Victor got over 80 interactions and over 45 comments on this original post. Victor was overwhelmed by the show of love and support.
Melissa’s FB Post: MARCH 15, 2016 at 10:44am
25 years ago today my 2nd father was taken from this world too soon. Losing Tony…or as I called him, Dad, was just one of the hardest experiences of my life. But nothing though could compare to the pain and shock that Victor and Alda (Mom) were going through. The three of them had an incredibly strong bond, especially because Victor was an only child. They were such an adorable little family with so much love. Anyone that knew them, knew that.
The circumstances of Tony’s accident were tragic as well. The irony of a man who never drank, dying of the result of an accident with a drunk driver was almost too much for this family to bear. To add salt to the wound, the intoxicated driver was an off-duty police officer. You can’t imagine the hurt, the anger, and the frustration we were all feeling way back then. The corruption was at a high point and there was no help for the little guy, even though the victim (Tony) worked in the criminal court most of his life, as an interpreter and court clerk.
It was a horrible dose of reality and an introduction to a cruel world for the Mistretta family. Yet through it all, we expressed our distaste for our situation through proper channels. My mother-in-law got very involved in MADD (Mother Against Drunk Drivers) to direct her anger into something helpful, something positive. There was no war waged with the police department, or riots, or crazy news conferences. This was just a sad situation to which this pathetic example of our law enforcement will have to live her days knowing she killed someone because she made a horrible choice that night. It is her cross to bear.
So many things have changed in the last 25 years. The pendulum has swung completely in the opposite direction, and there isn’t as much sweeping under the rug as there used to be. While this might be a positive result for some, there is a much larger issue at hand. The entire police department can not be held accountable for the mistakes of a few. Many people take incidents that occur and inflame them to a point where irreparable damage occurs. The disrespect and distrust of our law enforcement impacts everyone’s safety, and honestly, that is way too high a price to pay for a few bad apples.
Victor and I have always had respect for the men and women that put their lives on the line to protect us every day. Victor and I have raised both our daughters to understand the dangers of drinking and driving, yet always teaching them to have respect for the police and all those in uniform. My dear father-in-law would have had it no other way. This was a man who had the utmost respect for our justice system and those who upheld the law.
Tony was such a gentle soul. He valued his family, education, and his Roman Catholic and Italian heritage with such love and fervor. Victor and Alda were absolutely Tony’s world. The day Victor graduated High School he was beaming with such pride. Tony was also the biggest supporter of our “High School Sweetheart” relationship. Tony even bought me the flowers for our prom and gave them to me, saying, “I can’t wait until the wedding.” He was so cute.
There was no doubt in Tony’s mind that I was Vic’s “intended,” as he used to refer to me in social situations. There were times I was convinced that Tony was more excited about our wedding than we were. I know Tony would be so proud of the man his son has become. Such a devoted husband and father, much like he was. Vic is another gentle soul, who puts his family first….always. Tony’s spirit, as well as Alda’s, lives on in their son and granddaughters, for that I have no doubt. Like Victor, I too wish Tony could have physically been at our wedding and have experienced life as a grandfather. Yet, as an angel, I know he has always been there for us…I can still feel his presence and pick up on his messages. Tony (Dad) has been leading me to so many pictures as of late…as if to say, I’m still here and I love you. Well, we love you too Dad and we miss you more than words can express. xoxo
“the daughter you never had, but really did”
*My post also received quite a bit of attention and spin off attention from Vic’s original post. So many of the comments were so heartwarming.
Victor’s FB Post: MARCH 15, 2016 around 9:00pm
After a Dr. appointment today on Staten Island I was able to go visit my parents at the cemetery. While I was driving, Melissa called me and asked where I was and how I was doing. Once we hung up I had a feeling about what was happening next. When I arrived at the cemetery was I surprised, but not shocked to see my wife Melissa M Mistretta standing there. She drove all the way to Staten Island knowing that I might go for a visit. Melissa and I really are Two hearts living in just one mind. Thanks for your support and dinner! I Love You.
*My Reply to this post- We are, and always will be, BEST friends and each other’s soul mate. There is no other place I would rather be than by your side, no matter what the circumstances. I love you Victor. ♡
The simplest thing was for me to be there for Victor. Being physically and emotionally available may sound like a no-brainer, but in these times of technology, it’s often overlooked. In loving relationships, being physically present and emotionally available is the most valuable gifts we can give to one another. The power of a knowing glance, a reassuring hug, and a kiss, laced with shared tears can really express a deeper understanding that unfortunately words could never convey with the same fervor. That being said, words are definitely a great way to open the discussion and let people in. You may be surprised at how many people are feeling similarly and need to express themselves too.