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#ELBlog #168: Uncle Pete
I recently attended the funeral services of my Uncle, Pete Marotta. He passed away during the spring of 2020, and it was almost a year later that our family was finally able to have his services in April 2021. I know this was painful for my cousins and my Aunt who had to wait a whole year to pay their respects.
It was so nice to be able to see so many family members, especially those who I have not seen in more than a year and a half. This is one of the first times I have been inside with others, while wearing our masks and being socially distant. But it was just so nice to talk with everyone to see how they were doing, and how they are managing.
It was great to hear my cousins and my family, especially my Aunt Maryann, speak about my Uncle and his impact on the lives of others and his passions. It always goes back to family, doesn’t it? The loved ones and those that are closest to you are certainly the most important. You start with them, and most times end with them.
My eyes teared as I heard stories of the many young men that my Uncle helped in their journey with the Boy Scouts. This was especially true while hearing of those who he had helped become Eagle Scouts, including my brother Paul. Uncle Pete was in the supermarket lighting and design business. He was one of the first designers to make barrier free alleyways and pathways for the disabled to be able to move freely through the stores. This was well before the American Disabilities Act was passed. It was simply him being kind and thoughtful for those with disabilities. They spoke of his faith, belief in God, and relationship with the church and his siblings. My heart throbbed, and my eyes welled with tears just thinking about our family in general, the passing of time, and the growing and changing of generations.
Events and times like this make you reflect on your own life. You want to make sure you’re doing the best you can and making the lives of those around you more full. It makes you reflect on your relationships. I think about, and ask the questions: what are you doing to enrich other’s lives? They talked about Pete not being in many of the family pictures because he was the one taking them. He was the one capturing the memory of the big family dinner, and the family vacations, and all of those special times together. I laughed and I cried hearing the stories of him and my Dad growing up, and how tough my grandmother was. My Aunt, Uncle, and Dad lost their father early and Pete became the leader of the family. He became a leader in the Boy Scouts and a leader in the supermarket industry. I was proud to be at the services and hear the stories.
May you continue to write your story and build your legacy. I think about losing my own Dad when he was just 66 years old, 13 years ago. I think of him every day and the impact he had on me, my family, and in the lives of those who he served. He used to tell me that life is short and people will forget, so make an impact.
I wish you and your family the best as you read this personal writing.
We all have an opportunity to touch the lives of others and leave the world a better place. Do your part and do the best you can. Thank you Uncle Pete for all that you did for me and our family.
If I can help in any way please don’t hesitate to reach out at @andrewmarotta21 on Twitter. If you’re looking for your next keynote speaker or presenter on leadership topics, please reach out. #SurviveThrive
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