Hey, it’s The Damatos..
As most of you know, our father, Billy “Tip Toe” Damato, passed away yesterday after a long battle with life..
The last 10yrs while taking care of my father, he was generous enough to allow me to be open and transparent about all aspects of his life, including his 40yr battle with antipsychotic resistant paranoid schizophrenia..
(When I say the first half of life was rough, man...it was beyond rough.)
A lot of you know his backstory, but for those that don’t, 16 years ago when I became pregnant with my first daughter, my father begged me to allow him back into my life. I did so, but on the condition that he stay clean off all drugs, and stay on his psych meds..
Up until his last breath, he kept that promise to myself, my brothers, and our children..
For the last three years I have documented our lives together, sharing his crazy antics on mine and Pata Fria’s podcast, Hello Dysfunction. From “Tip Toe,” to the “nasty butt sisters,” to smoking cigarettes in a random stranger’s car, Billy brought us the laughs..
He also brought all the feels, especially when talking about navigating life with a severe mental illness..
Him giving me permission to speak so openly about our struggles, and psych meds, and side-effects, and the not so good parts...helped to educate hundreds, if not thousands of people on mental illness and the importance of mental health..
I’d like to believe he helped create a little bit more compassion and empathy for our vets, especially those living with mental health issues..
I’d also like to believe that he helped change the world, even if only just a little bit..
Because he is a veteran, his burial plot is covered, however funeral services, and celebration of life, are not..
We would like to give him the homegoing he worked so hard to deserve..
Whatever is left after his celebration of life, will be used to help Carolyn ( his baby sister) continue living independently for as long as possible.
(Because she is developmentally disabled and on SSI, her income is not enough to maintain living alone where her and dad lived...however, it is the least costly option, therefore my brothers and I have vowed to do whatever it takes to help her stay put until she is no longer capable of living on her own.)
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading..
If our father has ever made you laugh, cry, open your heart, shed some insight into battling mental illness, find a bit more compassion, or say “wtf Billy..
Please think about maybe donating, and/or sharing..
And with life in general, try to be a little more like Billy, make it as ridiculous as possible..
Always think “WWBD.”
The Damato Kids ❤️