My Father

My dad passed away peacefully not long past midnight, the 9th of February. He’d had a rough few weeks, but we all got to spend some time with him that night, my mom, my sister, and Seth and me. We each got to kiss him goodnight, we each got to say I love you, and he told us he loved us and he thanked us. “Thank you,” the words most constant on his lips lately, and I realize that this is one of many things I’ve learnt from my father. Three hours later, while he was sleeping, his heart stopped beating, and so he left this world.

Up until this afternoon, it never crossed my mind to share this news with you here. But there was an event at work today––one of many through the year that my mom and dad and sister have often participated in. Even a few days ago, Dad talked about going to this one today. And today’s was a big one. I had set too many wheels in motion and I couldn’t not be there, I couldn’t leave all the tasks to my coworkers. And to my surprise, my mom and my sister decided they wanted to be there, too. And this was good. We three were together, and we saw so many people we know, and we spent the day crying a bit, but mostly laughing and telling stories. And eating. The coffee was good, and there were doughnuts, really good ones. And this is what we do, after all, in my family: we laugh, we cry, we talk, and very often the coffee pot accompanies this. This is why there are easily over a dozen percolators and coffee pots in my mom’s kitchen, and almost as many in mine.

I spoke with so many people today who are Convivio Book of Days readers. We spoke about my dad. I realized we are family, too, you and me. (My great grandparents, Raffaele and Maria, welcome all of you at our ABOUT page: How can we not be family?) It became apparent that I had to tell you. And so I will: Dad entered this world in peace and he left it in peace, and who can ask for more than this; this and the blessing of love and understanding at home. Home and family were everything to him, the greatest riches, and he had these things abundantly. We miss him and we will miss him always. But rest assured there will be stories. Dad loved to tell his stories, and always he told them as if it was the first time anyone had ever heard them. That used to bug me sometimes, back when I was less appreciative. But as we all grew older, I loved that about him, that he could be excited about old old stories and tell them over and over again with fresh enthusiasm each time. And now I guess it’s up to me to make sure you hear them. I’m sure you will, if you keep reading: I won’t be able to stop myself from telling them, especially if you put the coffee on.

And so we keep the embers burning, we keep the wheel of the year turning, we keep the ones we love always at our side. We celebrate together. No matter what.

Angelo John Cutrone
May 18, 1926 – February 9, 2017


The photo above is by Charles Pratt. It was taken on my wedding day. You’re stuck with us, I guess: My sister, me, Seth, my mom, and my dad… and all the ones who came before us.


27 thoughts on “My Father

  1. Carl and Kathleen Maugeri says:

    Oh thank you so for including us! Much love to you all

  2. Leigh says:

    Thank you John, and warm thoughts of so many people are going out to you and your family. Coffee’s on and we’re ready to hear the stories.

  3. Laurel says:

    Thank you. I miss my father to this day, but am cradled in his unconditional love. I am certain you are too. We are all one in this world, and maybe in the next as well. Be comforted and carry the values forward.

  4. Melanie Circle says:

    The coffee is on here in Kathmandu. Thanks for the post. You are in my heart. Melanie

  5. Kelly says:

    Hi John – thank you for sharing this with us. We’ll lose my father soon. Your story lends comfort at a difficult yet very rich time. Sending love.

  6. Ama says:

    Thinking of you John. It sounds like you’re all coping well.

  7. Diane Dragoff says:


    My sympathies to you, Seth, your mom and sister. I hope you write all of your dad’s stories down. They are your heritage and legacy. And, in your sharing with us, we join families together. Coffee’s on here too, though these days it’s Decaf since I’ve gotten my stents installed!

    Blessings, light and love from a dedicated reader.


  8. Janet Kanai says:

    I’m so sorry to learn of your father’s passing. I, too, look forward to some good stories (so that’s where your love of stories came from!). I think of you and Seth as friends as well as neighbors, and certainly hope to be a part of your lives for the rest of our days.
    Janet (Margaret)

  9. Nichole says:

    Love what you wrote. Can’t wait to hear the stories.

  10. Sue G says:

    Very sorry for your loss. May your memories of your dad ease your pain.

    Grief is a difficult journey. When I lost my mom a few months ago, I found some solace in my little print shop by printing a few memorial cards for family and friends. It was a creative act that provided a brief respite from that sad journey.

    Give yourself time and take care of yourself. From a regular reader in Ottawa.

  11. Leslie Stewart says:

    Oh, my. Such a comforting post, full of life and love despite bearing the news of your sad loss. My own Dad died on this day five years ago. XOXOXOXO

  12. Ester MARTINEK says:

    Your Dad will forever be in your hearts. My sympathies to all of you. Thank you for the lovely post.

  13. Cristina Favretto says:

    My sympathies to you and your family, John. Your writing is so full of light and kindness; it always comforts me when I’m having a bad day. Now it’s my turn to send love and sympathy.

  14. What a beautiful tribute, John. Seeing you, your mother and sister move forward with the everyday activities at the Maker’s Marketplace yesterday was so reassuring. And having you share this remembrance will give each of us a chance to give you our support and virtual hugs. I’m just grateful I was there to give a real, physical hug.

    A strong, loving extended family is the best resource possible for dealing with whatever life brings. Know we are all a part of your family.

  15. Chris Conrad says:

    My heart hurts for you and your family. How blessed you are to have had such a special man in your lives for so many years. He will live on through your lives, your memories and your stories…and the coffee. Raising a mug to you all now. Hugs and love, Chris

  16. Jerri Duncan says:

    I know you will take care of each other, and especially your Mom during this time. Now I am going to have some coffee and remember my Dad. Thank you – my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  17. anne macfadyen says:

    Thanks for sharing with great compassion and understanding ~~ beautiful.
    Continue with your good work for all of us.

  18. Vicki says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of loss of your father; my sympathy to you and your family. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us as well as your usual stories and insights. It is an honor to be allowed into your family.
    A cup/pot of coffee makes all things bearable, joy and sorrow alike.
    Blessing to you and your family and peace to your father.

  19. Carol Sprinkle says:

    Sorry to hear about your father’s passing.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories about
    him. You have a very loving family.

  20. Maria says:

    I thank God I am part of this beautiful family. It’s so true about hearing the same stories over and over and over, but I suppose we are in training, so that we will be able to do the same. There is nothing greater on this earth than our family.

  21. Arthur J Williams says:

    My heart felt wishes for a good recovery from this very sad happening. Fathers play such an important role is our lives, so I know and understand and respect what you are going through.

  22. Judi Delgado says:

    I am so sorry to hear this, for you and your family, John. Anyone can imagine how hard this is and those of us who have lost fathers truly understand the complexity of the emotions. Sending warm hugs to all of you. Thank you for sharing this with us and trusting us with your feelings.

  23. Arthur Tinaglia says:

    Uncle Johnny’s voice was so distinctive. Calming. Reassuring. Positive. I remember so much from Victor Street and thereafter. He was a force unto himself but in a quiet way. I always admired his ability with mechanics and construction. If Uncle Johnny fixed it, it was fixed and fixed properly. He had a flair with everything. Artistic. Those dark eyes with the long eyelashes and the beautiful hair and that winning smile. I will see him again and make him laugh the way I used to. For now, I will ask him to pray for us, and for all of you, too.

  24. Maggie von Grote says:

    I am very sorry about this sad news. But what a beautiful tribute to your Dad! I am so glad I saw him again, and got to meet your mom and sister, too, at the Marketplace before Christmas last year. (The donuts and coffee were delicious!!)

    Our heartfelt Condolences to you and everyone in your family.
    Maggie and Santo

  25. Bev Markowitz says:

    Thank you for sharing your sad news with us, John. Your dad’s legacy lives on through the values and goodness in you, not to mention the exceptional gift of storytelling you have inherited.

    My condolences to you, Seth, your Mom and sister and please know that my thoughts are with you and your family.

    Bev Markowitz

  26. Monica says:

    So sorry to respond so late! I am very sorry about your father but glad you were all to be together.

  27. Jean says:

    Having been similarly preoccupied the past several months, I am only just now catching up with your posts, which I have always looked forward to with pleasure. I am so sorry for you loss. My mother was also born in 1926 and died in February. My father has been gone 15 years now, and I know that I will continue to think of her everyday the same way as I do with him – remembering our shared stories with love and laughter and diminishing sorrow. As you will also do.

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