For those of you that do not know I am the oldest of 6 brothers. Being the oldest has its advantages and disadvantages. The best part was being able to see my brothers all grow up to be people I am proud to call my brothers. Each is a little different, each of us has a part of ourselves completely unique but the one thing that was taught to us by our grandparents, our father and our mother was the LOVE of FAMILY and the love of six boys for each other. Now I'm not saying that it was always smooth, with no arguments, disagreements or hand to hand combat. Hey, there were 6 Italian brothers. You can bet your life there was all of that and more but we have always been there for each other when needed, not needing to be asked, just knowing.
Peter is going through a tough time, one of the toughest you can ever face. He is fighting it with the help of his beautiful wife and children plus all of our families.
Today, I read this post on Facebook from his son, Pete Brandano.
Friends, many of you know my Dad and some have only met him once or twice, others have known him for most of their lives. To know him is to love him. If you have a moment, please send him a card or letter. Include a note with your favorite memory with him. We want to fill his house with cards and love. Their address is:
Peter and Susan Brandano
321 Pearl St
Manchester, NH 03104
I wanted to contribute but I have so many memories to share from over the last half century plus, wow a half a century plus. So I thought of one recent memory that made me so proud to call Pete my brother. His daughter was married last year and I wrote a blog about Pete seeing Dayna for the first time in her wedding gown. I thought I would revise and repost it today.
This is it below.
The day before their wedding, Dayna and Alan, we found out that the bride's dad, my brother Pete, was in the hospital and might not make it to the wedding. You can imagine how we all felt hearing this news but especially Dayna. Pete has been battling a very serious disease for a few years and has been doing great. As is the case sometimes, complications arise and this was one of those times. When on the day of the wedding, we found out he would attend by signing himself out of the hospital, I had an idea. Instead of the groom seeing the bride in her gown for the first time, I would change it and have Pete see Dayna in her gown for the first time. I asked both Peter and Dayna how they felt about it and both agreed to it. Now, I had to find a place at the venue to photograph it. It needed to be away from all the guests and most of the wedding party. This would be a private moment captured discreetly by Phyllis and myself. I found a spot on the front porch of the venue, The Harris Pelham Inn. We had Pete facing away from the door from which Dayna would walk out. The plan was to have the bride walk up and tap her father on his shoulder and for him to turn and see her. Because of Peter's health, we had him sit until Dayna was ready.
I could see that Pete was in a weakened state but was determined not to let his daughter down on her wedding day. He didn't. After we photographed this moment, he again stood tall. He walked Dayna down a fairly steep hill to the ceremony. He was told they could set up a chair for him to sit halfway to the gazebo, where the ceremony was to be performed but he insisted on walking his daughter the whole way and he did. I have always been proud of my brothers for many reasons but at this moment, I was especially impressed. It was a special day for the guests but a very memorable day for our family.
My brother showed a love for his daughter that made us all very proud and provided a very poignant moment. On this very special day, his daughter's wedding day, he would not be defeated. With his two sons and their wives and their children looking on, he walked a walk that showed what the love of a father and family means.
Pete, we were all proud of you that day and so many others before and after. You made your daughter's wedding day even more special for her.