Parent's Resource Center

This is a Memorial to my Father

John Joseph Alberti

May 20, 1927

January 14, 2001


A new year calling for new resolutions. This year I had to think long and hard about my New Year's resolution. At first, I thought I would wish for a year that was better than the last.  After all, don't we all wish for the next year to have more highlights in it?  Then my dad passed away on January 14th and I quickly began to think about how a year without my dad could possibly be better than a year with him.

I knew whatever resolution I decided upon I would have to contain the realization that life must go on.  After my father died, I realized a lot of things, one was that I would never be able to tell my father how hurt I was.  How I couldn't bare to see him with a woman that replaced my mother after she died by only a few months.  I also couldn't tell him how cold and distant this woman was when she came into our lives.  All I knew is that I loved my dad very much and wanted him to be happy.  If staying away and having him focus on her family made him happy then so be it.

My mom and dad were so much in love.  My mom looked like a fashion model and my dad was a stunning handsome gentleman.  Together, they brought into this world 4 children:  John, Jr.; Daniel; William and Sherrel.  We spent much time pursuing camping in Camp Williams, (San Bernardino Mountains) with the occasional long trip to Yosemite or the Red Woods.  Regardless of where we went, there was always fresh trout sizzling in the pan and warm memories of a campfire with my parents busy preparing our meals.  We also brought our animals with us, my parents felt that our animals were also part of the family, we even brought the cat (who we had to leave behind with big tears of disappointment streaming down our faces).  But our parents loved us and we were all very happy.  On the weekends, we would swim and have pool parties.  We were always surrounded by friends, family and neighbors.  My dad loved to barbeque, give him any meat and he was there!  But what I remember most about my childhood is how my dad looked at my mother, there was such love and devotion in his eyes.  She was truly a spectacular woman who loved her husband and children with all of her heart.

When my mother died in 1976, something inside my dad died too.  That sparkle in his eyes was replaced with sorrow.  Even after he met my step-mother to be, he never was truly happy again, just replaced the loneliness with a warm body.  At least  I hope for his sake that she was kind and loving to a father that once was greatly loved by his children.  So I decided at a very early age to put as much distance between myself and my father.  I never liked my new step-mother who once claimed nobody could ever hurt her, it is hard to hurt a block of ice.  I did love my step-sister, but she started to become more like her mother so I put distance between us as well.  

Years went by, I would occasionally see my dad but it was never the same.  The house that was once full of friends and family was now cold and empty.  I had children who didn't even know who he was.  He rarely asked about them, or me for that matter -- his focus was always on insignificant things that neither matter nor made any sense. It was never about me, my life or my children.  But I knew he loved me, I could feel it and I know he knew I loved him too.  It is hard to explain how painful it is to lose a parent unless you have unfortunately experienced that loss yourself.  There are so many words that were left unsaid, too many memories that must now be blocked so that you can heal and remember the "good times."  Although I mentally lost my dad in February 1976 when my mother died, I am grateful for the time I did have with him.  He was a good man that had problems with his priorities, can't fault him for that, all I can do from this day forward is to love him.  And I do.......