What I Learned from My Father
by Coach Larry Indiviglia
It is June, Father’s Day month. This is my 61st Father’s Day, and I am blessed to be able to say that my Dad, Sal Indiviglia, is still living and in his 97th year. Each year, on Father’s Day, I make an effort to say “Thank You” to my Dad in a different way. AND for this year, I thought why not share with Dad the most important lessons I learned from him. Here is a short glimpse of what I will gift to my Dad on Father’s Day 2016. Now mind you, Dad is still living and teaching me things, so this “list” is only as current as, today, the day it was written. Life goes by in the “blink of an eye” and embracing another, especially your Dad, in a personal and special way, is as precious a gift that one can give.
5 Lessons I Learned from My Father …
- When Dad shared a story about WHO won the GOLD medal for the best Italian language student back in High School in 1936, he told me Melvin Hall won the award. I said your parents spoke Italian at home, why didn’t you win it? He said, “because I was 2ndbest. Melvin spoke perfect Italian and was the best; he was also an Afro-American student, AND remember NEVER EVER judge a person’s ability to achieve anything in Life because the color of his skin.”
- When I sat behind Midshipman Roger Staubach in 1963 at Sunday Mass at the Naval Academy Chapel in October of 1963 (Roger’s Heisman Trophy winning year as the QB of the Navy football team) my Dad whispered in my ear, “watch the way Roger conducts himself, he is a great example to follow Larry.” I was 8 years old. Man was Dad right about Roger.
- When Dad commuted to New York City for work for 35 years; 2 hours every morning and 2 hours to return in the evening to provide for his family – 4 kids. I never heard a complaint nor a harsh word when he came through the door, always a smile and a big hug!
- When Dad showed incredible STRENGTH and COURAGE when my Mom died of cancer at 63, my older sister in a car accident at 28, and my older brother of suicide at 53. Dad said each time: God is still good Larry, do not turn away from HIM.
- When Dad returned from 2 tours of duty in Vietnam as a Combat Artist with the Naval Reserve: “I saw bravery and sacrifice every day Larry, pray for the soldiers, sailors & Marines over there every night.”
Thank you Larry for sharing these lessons. All of them are incredible. #2, #3, and #4 speak to me personally the most. #2, because as a football fan, I just can’t imagine sitting behind Staubach as an 8-year old. I would have flipped out. And more importantly, #3. I’m thinking about the COMMITMENT, SACRIFICE, and DEDICATION your Dad had to commute 4 hours a day total for 35 years. Folks, 35 years. Not 3 days. Or 3 weeks. Or 3 months. Or 3 years. But 35 years. That is A LOT of years. That alone says everything about his character. WOW.
And #4 is well, just incredible. Mom dying. Sister dying tragically. Brother dying tragically. And your Dad says “God is still good..don’t turn away from HIM.” Nothing else needs to be said.
Thank you Larry for sharing your Father with us. Not hard to see WHY you are WHO you are.