Father's Day, June 2016
// Jeanne DeTellis
My father, Charles DiPietro, is 98 years old. I think he deserves the platform…the microphone to speak what is in his heart for other fathers this Father’s Day.
I asked him today what he would like to say. He would tell you that as you walk with God, your children will find your footsteps.
I know when I was growing up I would hear mention of being born on the other side of the tracks. What that meant was that you didn’t have what the other kids had—materially, socially, or financially. I knew what I had. I had a father. I had a father who had a good name. I had a father who was a calm man of peace; an honest man who lived a life of integrity.
Dad was present in our home. This is the greatest gift. This reminds me of a question we always asked our Haitian children when registering them for school, “Do you have a father?” And the answers were mostly, “Absent.”
My father was a spiritual presence in our home. I saw him in the early morning on his knees praying at the high-back blue chair. My father knew the meeting place between God and him. God was there at that blue chair with His ears open to hear my father’s heart. I’m not sure what my father prayed, but from his heart of faithful love for his wife and three daughters, I could say the prayer myself, I’m sure.
Life for dad started in 1918 as one of eight children born to immigrant parents from Italy. They lived on a rural farm—farming and raising crops. His father also did masonry jobs to help support the family. Thank God, Dad, through the influence of his mother and his mother-in-law, came to a personal relationship with Jesus. Dad left the country for his city girl, Anna, and conducted an honest business, General Plating Company, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He retired early, at 58 years of age, after lung surgery to check on a mass. Praise God it was not cancer, but was actually related to his line of business. He’s an amazing man…still enjoys his coffee and an occasional jelly donut in the morning. He now lives a life in quality health with no diseases, nor does he take any medication. He has no secret. He would say, “Keep your heart right with God, and God will make a way…where there is no way.” Then, Dad would tell you story after story of how God made a way for him.
As I think about my dad this Father’s Day, it reminds me of Psalm 128, “How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”
Dad wears his Bibles out more than his shoes. His countenance is calm, sure, secure and solid, because His God lives in him and that God is seen by me. My father does not live on the other side of the tracks—because he is on track with God…focused, until God calls him home to be face to face with our Savior. I love you, Dad!