I want to introduce my hero...
I know him as my dad who gave me a ciggarette at the age of 9, knowing the taste and the smell would be permanently deter me from every picking up the habit.
I know him as my dad who let me buy a scratch ticket at 12, which I lost. I lost a weeks worth of earnings in an instant and never did that again.
I know him as my dad who gave me my first drink at 14 , teaching me firsthand life is much better lucid and sober than being drunk and sick.
I know him as the greatest influencer in my life and my rock. I cannot picture a life without him in it and I love him dearly. I sit here, at age 29 , with the strength to try my hardest everyday. I want to impress him because he has impressed me. He has taught me the fundamentals of life, positivity, the importance of family, my values, steered my beliefs, built my strong foundation on faith, and shown me unconditional love.
Dad was born in Massachusetts to Mabel and Frank Zammuto.
He has 9 brothers, including 1 identical brother, who is ten minutes older than him (can you guess his identical brother from the pics?)
Mabel (my grandmother, I call her nana) grew up on a farm in Nova Scotia.
Frank (my grandfather) died when my dad was 12 in a car accident. He was a first generation Italian. Mabel and Frank met in Boston and made a huge loving family.
Nana (and Frank) gave birth to 10 children. Yes, 10 and they were all boys...
statistically, thats less than a .01% chance (1 out of 10,000) of having 10 boys but she did it. Nana once told me after having her 6th child she knew she'd never have a girl! Nana also told me she ran out of names for all her children. Imagine coming up with 20 different boys names, (10 first names and 10 middle names)
Nana just had her 98th birthday on June 24th!
After Frank died, times were tough for nana and the kids , money was hard to come by and so was food. They all made the best of it.
Through positivity they got through it.
Through positivity, we will get through these tough times.
Through positivity, we can overcome all obstacles in life.
my dad worked at Mcdonalds. He worked with my mother's sister. That is how he met my mother. My mom was shy, nervous and quiet. She was an orphan from Costa Rica, adopted and moved to Lexington, Ma when she was 12, without knowing a single word of english at the time.
My dad would frequent pool parties put on my mom and her sisters. The famous story is my dad would swim to the side of the pool where my mom was and my mom was so nervous she'd swim to the other side.
This went on and on ... until eventually, my mom gave in.
They started talking.
Then they dated.
It took my dad four months before my mother would even kiss him.
Two years later they were married.
One year later they had me.
1 year and 7 months later they gave birth to my brother, Johnathan.
It was just my dad and like 7 of us kids (remember huge family) , we were all ages 6-9 at this point and behaving badly. All of us kids were setting each other off. This escalated into everyone throwing absolutely everything at each other. This happened on the day we were leaving from the trip so instead of cleaning up , we were doing the exact opposite.. There was so much mess everywhere!
I had one cousin trying to be helpful, he took all of our mess and had no idea what to do with it so he put it into the middle of the room. My dad was screaming the entire time for us to stop. My dad was past the point of return and he had to step outside to cool off. When he left, for some reason we thought this was an OK to keep going at it.
When he re-entered from trying to cool off, He bolted straight past us to the organized mess on the ground and kicked it with such a force, with such an unbelievable kick - I remember, simultaneously, being instantly bewildered AND impressed at how far everything went in every direction. My entire being was so frightened at this point, I was scared shtless.
I thought I was going to be the next thing kicked into oblivion but not just me, we ALL KNEW he was going to rip our heads off and it was every child for himself.
We all scattered.
We were scared.
We were screaming bloody murder.
We were crying and pissing ourselves -
and all of us just hoping we weren't going to be the one he caught. Serves us right for being little shts.
My family has lived in the same house our entire lives. My dad and his brothers built our house in the 1980s. My parents planned my birth and I am grateful everyday that I was meant to be here. Knowing my parents love me more than anything is the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. I thank god everyday to have the best parents.
Recently, about two months ago..
Dad and I were at Mcdonalds. He got a small soda and something off the dollar menu. (at first he wanted to share a small soda... I said, "no dad, I'll buy you your own soda, don't be cheap") When he recieved the soda, he looked me dead in the eye and said, very seriously,
"Davey, guard my soda while I'm at the bathroom."
I waited till he reached the restroom to crack up laughing.
Thats my dad for you - stopping soda thieves since '57
The only thing my dad hates more than soda theives is hospitals... He hates hospitals more than anything. The hospital was the last place he saw his father, back when he was 12 years old and ever since then, understandably, he hates being there. He has been to a hospital once in the last 2 decades, when my grandmother broke her hip...
That is until last thursday, the 15th. The worst day of my life. At the time, my dad had been having chest pain for three straight days*. Under the urgency of my mother, my father reluctantly scheduled an appointment with his PCP. Thankfully, in hindsight, his PCP was able to see him that day. If not, there may have been a different outcome. He drew blood and told my dad to go to the hospital, as soon as possible, due to elevated white blood cell coints.
On June 16th, Dad was admitted to the ICU at Leahey Clinic in Burlington, MA.
X-rays were done
X-rays revealed not just 1 major block preventing the flow of blood but TWO major blood clots/blocks. My dad suffered a heart attack! My old man is indestructable and nothing like this is ever suppose to happen. I was floored when I found out, just surreal and unreal,
I sobbed uncontrollably for the first time in my life.
Dad needed emergency surgery where a balloon catheter was inserted into his femoral artery and came out of his neck. The long cable went all the way to the blockage and inserted stents to hold up the walls of the artery.
After the procedure, my dad developed pnenomia which labored his breathing heavily to the point where he said he could no longer breath and needed an oxygen supply to help with his breathing. Poor dad! He was weak during this time, he could not eat and dropped down to less than 140 pounds while at the hospital.
My dad is a trooper. He said the experience was a nightmare. He was awake for the whole procedure. Thankfully the procedure was a success. The thing to know about my dad is he's always smiling. He is the only person that I know who smiles when hes sleeping. Yes, he smiles when he's sleeping, everytime he sleeps. Here he is smiling after almost losing his life and coming out the otherside still on top.
My dads twin came and visited him around this time. The nurses thought he was my dad! One of them nearly fainted thinking my dad was up and walking around.
My father was released a few day ago from the hospital. He is currently on 7 different drugs, 3 of which he will need for the rest of his life. He still has stents in his arteries.
He will be going back to the hospital next week. I think the doctors are waiting to see if the clot comes back. I dont know. All I know is I have my dad back home with us for the time being. My old man is finally back home. We do not when he can go back to work.
His breathing is still labored and he is having some trouble talking. He is not back to full health. His spirits are not at 100% and he is currently bound to his chair with little mobility. Tasks that empowered him before the heart attack - such as mowing the lawn, changing the cars oil, taking out the trash, he will never be able to do again.
I'm asking for your support...
Will you upvote this , resteem it and/or write words of encouragement in the comment section below?
I want my dad to know there is a community "on the internets"(as he says) that cares about him. This will mean the world to him.
I want to present my dad with a physically framed picture containing all words of positivity that he can hang next to his chair, where he sits as he heals. I will film this.
Please help dad fight the good fight
This was difficult for me to write but I thank you for taking the time to learn about my old man.
Thank you STEEMIT for being such a wonderful platform with such a strong sense of community!
Dad, I WILL protect your soda, always.
Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a man,
I love you today and forever,
David Zammuto Jr
*If you or anyone you know experiences chest pains of any kind, I urge you to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.