Tag Archives: Father

Well, January sucked…

_DSC9456-smallThe last 2 weeks have been pure madness for us here in the Wizzer household.  Pretty much all of January has sucked.  I don’t mean that in a “Well my chip broke off in the dip so FML” kind of way.  I mean it in a “Wow, a ton of crap got dumped on me and my family” kind of way.

January started off with my Sister-in-Law being rushed to the hospital with a brain aneurysm.  Yes, a brain aneurysm.  She is 26 years old, and a month after it happened they still are trying to figure out what caused it.  On the plus side, she is back to 100% normal (well normal for Rachel) and is in good spirits.

A week after that, I hear that my father had to be rushed to the hospital for congestive heart failure.  Apparently, a large amount of fluid was building up around his heart and needed to be removed.

It was during a conversation about my fathers condition that I learned that my Sister was having quite a few health issues related to stress and has had to completely change her work and home lifestyle so that she does not end up in the hospital.  Given that the issues are all stress related, I can only imagine that having to change everything in your life would only cause MORE stress, while you are trying to DECREASE the stress.

Then the 18th happened.

On Saturday January 18th, Sarah and I went into DC to visit some of the museums with her mom.  While there I broke off to the Air and Space Museum to do some photography for a friend.  After that was done I met back up with Sarah and we went back to visit with Rachel and have dinner.  While sitting down and talking with Sarah’s family, I get a notification that my Dad had replied to something on Facebook asking if I had read an e-mail about photography insurance.  I briefly thought about video chatting with him, but figured I would just call him later.  It was a good thing I didn’t as I learned later that he was Video chatting with my niece and helping her out with some poetry.

After dinner Sarah and I headed home.  It was a full day with a lot of walking.  Both of us were pretty tired so I headed upstairs to take a shower before bed.  As I exited the shower, Sarah tells me that my phone has been blowing up with my sister and Mother trying to call.  She had answered but all she got was that something had happened and that my Dad was on his way to the hospital.  I quickly called my Mom to get the full story.

After a very good day of researching a school paper he was finishing up, and making some calls to Andrew, my son, and my niece Sarah (Littlest Sarah), my father was helping my Mom get ready for dinner when he collapsed in the kitchen.  My mother performed CPR while calling 911.  The EMT’s arrived and did everything they could, both on scene and in route to the hospital.

On January 18th at 9:55pm (EST) my father passed away

  • 10pm – I heard the news
  • 12pm – I had a ticket to Crescent City CA. (Closest Airport)
  • 1am – I e-mailed my work to say I wasn’t coming in
  • 2am – I arrived at BWI Airport
  • 6am – My plane left BWI
  • 10am (pst) – I landed in SFO
  • 1pm (pst) – I landed in Crescent City

I spent the next week consoling my Mom and helping her with all of the various details that go into this sort of thing.  I coordinated bringing in family, arranging sleeping accommodations, working with the red cross to help Andrew try and come out (Sadly, he couldn’t make it).  Essentially working non-stop for a week straight.  Any time I felt the emotions rising, I reminded myself that Petrucelli stands for “little rock” and I suppressed in order to get the mission done.

2 weeks later and I feel I still haven’t let go yet.

For the memorial I was asked to write a eulogy.  I would like to share it here, only because it pretty much sums up the relationship I had with my Dad, and I would like it to be a part of this blog.  You don’t have to read it.  I just need it to be here.


  I am not really sure how to write a Eulogy.  The last few folks in my life that passed on did so while I was either really young, or while I was so far separated from them, both physically, and socially, so I guess you can count me as lucky as I have not yet had to experience this sort of loss until now. Thanks for breaking the streak there dad!

  My father was a stubborn, sarcastic, so-and-so, and if my Wife and my Mother are to believed, it’s apparent that I am truly “My Fathers Son”.  But, You all probably know him best as the Pastor here. This is a job that he dove into roughly 8 years ago and in one respect it made talking to him somewhat difficult.  Not for any bad reason, just that he was so excited about it, he just wouldn’t shut up about it.  “Hey dad, how are things up there?” “Things are great, I’m a pastor now!” “Yeah dad, we know, you’ve told us….a lot”. Now, one of the things I have always admired about him was his ability to put others first.  This is something that I have always tried to incorporate into my life.  The ability to look at a situation and see what it is that everyone else needs, and then when all that is said and done, what it that I need.  That’s just how he looked at things.  For example, my Mother and I were looking around the house at what he left behind and remarked about how little physically he had.  What was left was a few books, lots of papers, and a little bit of himself in every person in this room.  Knowing him, I am guessing he would be ok with you all taking that bit home and keeping it.

I am also not a religious person, yet this did not stop my dad and I from having a number of conversations about mankind and beliefs.  Most of the time this was while I was driving home from work and had a few min (or hours, traffic in VA is kinda hit and miss).  These conversations would usually start with the usual how you doin, and then from there lead into various topics that really ranged from simple photography, to in depth philosophical analysis of why humans are on this earth. (There may have been some about aliens too). Most of these had us on opposite sides of the fence, but, being “My Fathers Son”, I am pretty sure I was right, especially since he is not here to contest it now.

One of the latest conversations we had was about his degree program.  He was desperately trying to get his Bachelors degree in Divinity, something he has spent many many years working on. You all may think that he wanted to get his degree to be a respected member of society and be looked upon as a scholar in his field. In truth, he and I have been in a race to be the only ones in the family to gain our Bachelors, and he was just trying to catch up.  Although, I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting that his final assignment would have been an in depth analysis of the hereafter.  Well, knowing him the way I do, I am pretty sure he passed that final exam and as far as I am concerned, he and I are tied.  Now, if we can just get mom to dissect that frog so she can catch up.

My father had a favorite joke.  He told this one to pretty much everyone so I am sure you have heard it.  Socrates was a famous atheist, But, It’s rumored that whenever he would pass a church, he would do the sign of the cross.  People would come up to him as ask him “ If you don’t believe in God, why do you make the sign of the cross when you pass a church?”  To which Socrates would reply with a shrug “Meh, I may be wrong!”

So many of our other conversations stemmed from our religious differences. And while personally, I may believe that until it happens, none of us really know what goes on after we pass, I know that my father truly believed in heaven and I know that, if he was right, he will meet me there with a warm hug and a hearty and well meaning “I told you so”.


He will be missed.


A swirl of emotions

It’s not often I write about family things on the blog here.  Usually it’ all about me.  Ok, it’s almost always about me.

FINE…. it’ all about me.  Except when it’s not.  This time it’s about Andrew. (and a little about me)

Sunday we dropped off Andrew so he can step off on the next leg of his journey through life.  He joined the Marines.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that me and Marines don’t typically get along.  Lots of experiences from my past years in the military have led to that.  But, I understand why Andrew decided to go that route (for the most part) and I respect his decision.  I am always proud of him when he sets his mind to something and works to accomplish it.  He set his mind on becoming a Marine, and through hell and high water (and a stubborn old father set in his ways) he went off to accomplish just that.

The picture you see here is the last picture we took of him as we dropped him off.  I have no doubt that he will return triumphant, and very different from how he appears now.

Last night we received his arrival phone call, albeit at 2am, of:

  • I have arrived safely at Parris Island.
  • Please do not send any food or bulky items.
  • I will contact you in 3 to 5 days via postcard with my new mailing address.
  • Thank you for your support.
  • Goodbye for now.

At least, I think that’s what he said.  It was 2am after all.  I squeezed in a “Good Luck”, but I am not sure if he heard me.  His voice was stressed and I could hear lots of other recruits behind him making the same call.

In the meantime, Sarah and I are now DINK’s.  We have divided up the chore list and are De-”Kidding” the house.

It’s kind of surreal sometimes.


Some interesting info for recruit parents at http://recruitparents.com

Almost done with the Tardis!

Been a little while since an update due to my starting the new job.

While I was at work the kid Started in on the signs for the top.  Went for all wood and painted using a stencil.  If we go full size I will definitely look into getting signs made.

Also, I think I see a table saw in my future.  All of the cuts here were made with a handheld circular saw or a hand skill saw, and it shows. (and it makes me sad).  But hey, this small one was more meant for fun and learning!

So here is where we are now:

We stuck the front door sign (phone box sign) on with Lamination and sticky back.

Whats left is the Lantern, and Window framing, and then some touch up painting!

Father Son 1/2 size TARDIS build

So, the wife and I have now made it through all of the new Doctors and I am slowly working my way through the classics, as well as catching up on Torchwood.

One of the thing that struck me was the Tardis.  I looked at it early on and thought…..I bet I could build one of those.  See, I love woodworking.  Especially odd ball stuff.  I designed and build a box for my cat to have his food and water in that we could see into, but the dog couldn’t get to it.  So I thought, “why not build a Tardis!”  Shortly afterwards my Son mention that we should do it as a team project.  Since he is prepping to join the military, I figured this was a good bond type of thing for us to do.

So, here we are.  For the last two months I have been browsing the forum Tardisbuilders.com, looking at everyone’s builds and gaining inspiration.  I know that I would have a few days off from work (just switched jobs) and it would be perfect timing for this build.  I eventually want to build a Full scale box but wanted to start small and get ideas.  This will help me build the larger one when it comes time.

So we started Wednesday and I made a point to try and take pictures along the way.

Since this is a 1/2 scale (ish) we started with a simple base frame:

We opted to have the walls be plywood (1/4 inch thick) and cut out the squares.

Sonic Screwdriver says Math is Hard!

Cutting out the squares:

Our Corner pieces are 4×1 inch paired with a 3×1 inch, 4 feet long:

With the walls attached (doors are just leaning)

And here we are after today.  Doors attached and everything mounted on the base:

So Thursday we got the backings on all the panels and added a roof to brace for when we add the tiers (and to hold everything in place.

Also, First Blood happened.  I almost always bleed somehow on every project.  Thankfully it’s only a small puncture.

You may also notice that the top is a tad shorter.  We cut off about 3 inches to solve the tall top problem.  our sinage will be about 3 inches tall so we should have maybe an inch of overage.

A big lesson learned here would be to save the door attachments until after the top is on.  We now will need to take the doors off and trim them up a bit as they stick when opening.  (Through warped wood or being 1/4 inch off.)  That’s one of the downsides to working small scale. even 1/4 of an inch can cause HUGE problems.  

Next stop, Lowes to pick up wood for the Signs and Roof!  I think we may look at doing a flat roof instead of the slanted as in 1/2 scale the difficulty curve is pretty high.


We painted on Saturday and that means some outside time.  I am so glad my shop is downstairs in the basement where it’s nice and cool.

So here’s where we are now: Took the doors off and started painting the main body, first coat.

While that was drying (and the wife helped with the second coat) the kid and I went down to build the roof.  here it is sitting on the top. (Not the actual lantern that will be used)

I bought some pre-cut plexi for the windows and left the frost plastic on them.

So that leaves us with the Signs, Window frames, and Lantern for the top.

I opted to not do the Phone box on the side door because of the material we are using being very thin and the overall size being very small.  On the plus side, the whole thing is extremely light!

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