Paul D. Albergo
I was born on my dad's birthday. We have had a shared birthday cake for 32 years. My best recent memory was taking him to New York City where he finally got his Katz pastrami sandwich. He taught me the history of the world as I've been traveling it. He gave me my love of crossword puzzles. We used to complete one every time I visited him. He gave me my passionate personality and my tendency to be very specific about ways I like certain things. He loved his garden and tending to his flowers. He would meticulously tend to his garden every spring and summer. He loved old movies. He loved reminiscing. He is the absolutely smartest guy I'll probably ever know and I'm proud to say that. I love him dearly and will never forget him.
My dad was diagnosed with metastasized lung cancer that had spread to his adrenal glands, spine, and liver by the time we caught it. He was with us for one week from diagnosis to death. The spine tumors paralyzed him, which brought him into the hospital. I am happy I was able to spend the week with him during that time. He was so strong and full of spirit, despite the situation. The nurses in the oncology ward were smitten by his personality. (Thank you Bonnie, Tammy, Joann, and Cassie of Christiana Hospital, especially). He made everyone laugh and was full of passionate stories to tell. He was happy that he did not have to "watch the Phillies lose another season this year" but he really wanted a steak and lobster tail. He also really wanted to go home and listen to the birds. We were able to get him home to his birds, but we didn't get to give him that lobster tail.
If I could do anything by raising these funds, it would be to increase education for earlier cancer diagnosis. If we read the signs and symptoms differently, perhaps we could have gotten a few more months or years with him. I'd also like to continue the fight for smoking cessation. Paul smoked heavily for 40+ years and fought the battle to quit very hard but lost it; as a result we lost him much too soon.
I love you, daddy, and I know you will be with me this year when I get married, and throughout the rest of my life.