My Dad is still with me, watching over my family

Submitted photo
Joseph Riegner in 1960 with his daughter.
Submitted photo Joseph Riegner in 1960 with his daughter.

Looking back at my childhood, it wasn’t unusual for a kid growing up in the 1960s. I remember the piles of snow in winter and the hot summers without air conditioning. I was daddy’s little girl. I recall watching the Red Skelton show each week with my dad. My dad was so very special to me.

I lost my dad, Joseph Riegner, when I was only 27 and here I am over 20 years later and as I write this tears stream down my checks. Dad, you were awesome and I never told you. Maybe I had to become middle-aged mature to realize how great a person you were. Maybe I had to have a child of mine own to realize how great a dad you were.

You took mom and me on family vacations from Maine to Florida despite the fact that I always got car sick. I’m sorry I threw up on you that one time. You served in World War II along with two of your brothers, one of whom never returned. I never took time to talk to you about your time in the war.

Your job was a milkman. One hears the saying about mailmen (and nothing against them), “Neither rain, nor sleet, etc.” Well, the same can be said for milkmen. In all kinds of weather, Dad, you’d be out delivering milk on your appointed route.


Our church choir was where you shared your beautiful tenor voice. I am glad that I was a member of the same choir. Musical talent was totally a part of your life. Playing accordion and organ all by ear, you never read a note of music. I wish I could hear you play that old rugged cross again, just one more time.

It saddens me that you never got to meet my husband. You would have enjoyed talking about traveling and would have enjoyed playing music together. I feel especially sad that you never got to meet my daughter, your only grandchild. You would have been so proud of her achievements.

I believe the spirit of my dad is still with me, watching over my family. And dad - you are still so special to me. You will live in my heart until someday when we meet again in heaven.

Luann Zambanini resides in Barto.