March 6, 2015. Goodbye Dave, gentle brother in law. The Contolini family loves you.
I remember getting in the car to leave your house in Indiana this summer and thinking how kind you and Natalie had been to us and how sweet you both looked waiving goodbye to us; so I grabbed Isabella's iPhone and snapped this picture. I wondered when we would see you again. It had been years since our last visit to your house. It is such a clear memory. Your almost-ever-present, genuine smile is one thing that really stands out in my mind from our last visit. I am happy our paths crossed even though I wish I could have known you better. Norine has "imported" in our family life and house so many practices and things that, as a young woman, she has observed you and Natalie do. I thank you for that. Thank you for teaching us about living simply, about being generous even when we don't have much and thank you for showing us strong faith. I am trying to imitate your reading of scripture and of the liturgy of the hours throughout the day and to the family. Isabella and Emanuela loaded an app for that on their iphone.
I could not be there this past week, but Norine says that even your final earthly goodbye was a lesson in humility, dignity and joy. It was a celebration of your life, marked, in part, by the sadness of temporary separation but also by the joy and assurance that you are now with God where you wanted to be and where we all hope to join you someday. Your family gave you one last great gift in preparing and carrying on a unique and beautiful goodbye.
Even in the most difficult moment in life your family has taught us a lesson that we want to imitate. Thank you! That says a lot about who you were, and still are, as a father, leader and husband.
Watch over all of us now and please hug to our little "pumpkin" for us.