Remembering My Father, Salvatore

My dad - my hero, Salvatore Giovanni Stefano was born on September 3rd, 1960. He was one of the strongest, willing, generous and caring people I have ever known in my life. When I was young, I would crawl up onto his belly and play helicopter with him. Or he would show up to every single one of my soccer or football games. He showed up to a state-wide history competition when I was in the 6th grade that was over an hour and a half away. One night, he woke me up at 3 AM to take me to the store to pick out a new bedding set (which, of course, I picked out Shrek). We would go to many theme parks in Orlando. My whole family has had so many memorable experiences with him. He truly wanted everyone to just be happy, no matter the cost. Life was great.

On February 15, 2005, he was injured in a serious car accident and required operation on his neck. We later found out in 2014 that his frontal lobe in his brain was damaged, too. Metal plates were inserted to support his spine. This meant years of physical rehabilitation, medical expenses and the unexpected closure of our family-owned fence business. The accident put him into disibility and he could no longer work. This brought many years of depression since he has always felt the need to support us - to be a role model dad. To help while the family was away at school or work, we brought a new puppy into our family. He was a Toy Rat Terrier, Toby, who absolutely loved him. 

When you provide your whole life to your family, you'll need the same support one day. While we did our best in our own means, financially and emotionally, it could never quite satiate his needs. His hips were to be replaced as he could hardly walk for more than 15 seconds, various health ailments and crippling depression ensued as he was unable to be with family as much as he used to.. and working with social security and disability was nearly impossible to work with.

Today on January 12th, 2018, I received the worst news anyone ever has to hear. My father Salvatore Stefano, had passed away yesterday on January 11th, 2018 at the Florida Hospital in Tampa. Now, I can't help thinking that there is just not enough time in this world I could have spent with him, I wish there was more dinners together, more pictures, more hugs, more time.

 My dad had been sick with the flu and we do not know the exact reason of his passing, or why it was all so sudden. My family is scattered, as we all try to come together and console each other during this difficult time. We will have many expenses to cover such as: funeral, wake, medical care, flights, etc.. We ask for any help no matter how small, anything is appreciated. A simple share would mean more than the world to our family if you cannot contribute . We will be setting up everything for him this weekend.. saying our last goodbyes. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and remember my father, Salvatore Stefano, as the man that he was - a fighter, and a loving family man.

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Daniel Steffano
Palm Bay, FL

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