Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Farewell, Fran

On Tuesday, my father-in-law passed away following an 8-year battle with colon cancer. When I first met Fran, two days before Christmas in 2007, he opened his home to me and welcomed me into his family without hesitation. Unfortunately, I never knew him before the cancer and chemotherapy took their toll, but I can tell you he was a wonderful father, a great friend, and one of the most generous people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

At my wedding, when Fran first greeted me after the ceremony, he embraced me fully. He choked up as he congratulated me, with tears in his eyes but pure joy evident on his face. He was just so happy for me and Denise. Much of my wedding day is a blur, but that moment is one I’ll always remember clearly, and never forget.

Fran was only my father-in-law for one year, one week, and one day. It’s hard to believe he won’t be here to see my son grow up, but I’m glad he got to meet his grandson before he left us, and I feel honored to have known him as long as I did. And of course, my son will still get to know his grandfather through the many stories my wife and her family share of him. I look forward to hearing them myself.

Goodbye, Fran. We miss you dearly.


Francis Anthony Ricotta
December 14, 1930 – September 13, 2011

14 comments:

  1. I'm very sorry for your loss and your wife's. He looks like a nice guy.

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  2. We will make sure he knows about his amazing grampa. Okay, now I am crying again.

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  3. Nate, sorry for your loss. Beautifully written tribute.

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  4. Nate, you and Denise will be in my thoughts. What a touching story about Fran's wonderful life.

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  5. Tim (Your wife's cousin, silly)September 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    He really was an awesome Uncle too. I remember when I would stay at the Ricotta house sometimes in the summers and I would be up late watching TV with him. He would fall aslee and start snoring. And I mean snoring as loud as a motorcycle. Naturally, being a teenaged kid, I would grab the remote and change the channel, since I wasn't a huge fan of watching wild animals graze. Within seconds he would be awake and asking what I was doing. This was my first experience with sleep-induced extra-sensory perception.

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  6. So sorry, Nate. Glad he met his grandson though.

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  7. It sucks when we lose people we love, or people we're in the process of coming to love. My deepest sympathy on the loss for you & your family.

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  8. I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss.

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  9. That's very sad news, Nate. So sorry for yours and Denise's loss...

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  10. Thank you, everyone for your thoughts and your kind words. Denise and I really appreciate it.

    And Sara & Tim, I'm sure I'll get plenty of stories about his grandpa over the next couple of days to retell The Professor when he's older. But I may start with Tim's first, because I'm impressed by Fran's sixth sense for remote control pilferage. Also, it's science!

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  11. i'm so sorry to hear this. I wish you and Denise peace during this difficult time

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  12. my condolences. Hope your wife is doing okay.

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  13. I just saw this and I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences and thoughts are with you and your family. I will remember you and Fran in my prayers. What a beautiful spirit he must have been.

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