Petro Law - June 2020

June 2020

(205) 327-8311

www.petrolawfirm.com

Remembering My Father Helping Injured Alabamians Make Great Decisions Regarding Their Legal Issues

With Father’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. Five years ago, he passed away at the age of 89 after living a long and healthy life. He was someone who filled every day with the people and activities he loved most. As a kid, my dad grew up the youngest of seven boys. His parents were Lebanese immigrants who moved to the U.S. in the early 1900s, and most of his childhood and all of his adult life was spent here. When they first moved here, his family settled on the Mississippi Delta, which is where many Lebanese immigrants created a community. When my father was born, my grandfather opened a candy store in a small town near the Delta to support his growing family. By the time my dad had graduated from high school, World War II was raging across the sea. At that time, almost everyone was expected to join some form of the military. If you didn’t sign up immediately upon being eligible, you were considered a coward. At the age of 18, my dad joined the Navy and headed out on a boat on the Pacific, where he spent the next four years until the war ended. After he came home, my dad went to college but didn’t have a great time while he was there. He dropped out after a couple of years and got into the jewelry business, where he stayed until he retired at the age of 65. The particular jewelry business he worked with was a chain of about 60 stores. When he first started there, he was just a sales associate, but he worked his way up and eventually became

president of the entire company. As a kid, I remember my siblings and I would go work at a couple of different stores in the Birmingham area over Christmas break. The holiday season was always one of the busiest times of year, and Dad appreciated getting the extra help. But it also gave us a chance to earn a little cash so we could buy presents. Another one of my dad’s characteristics that I remember very fondly is that he and my mom both really enjoyed good food and wine. By the time I graduated from high school, my parents were going out to eat dinner seven nights a week at nice restaurants. Several places here in Birmingham were his favorites — they allowed him to bring in his own bottle of wine without charging him a corkage fee. In return, he promised them that he’d bring in more business, and he did.

time in college, he joined the tennis team and continued to play for the rest of his life until he couldn’t anymore. When my daughter, Carlee, started to play tennis, he’d go to her games and watch her play whenever he had the time. I remember him telling her he was so impressed with how hard she hit the ball. It was always good to see the two of them talking and bonding over their similar interests. Dad was definitely a family man. If he wasn’t at work, at dinner with my mom, or playing tennis, then he was spending all his extra time with the family. He also was a devout Catholic and did everything he could to pass his faith onto us children. I can’t remember a moment when he missed Mass, even when he was out of town. Toward the end of his life, he went to daily Mass and to the adoration chapel every day at 3 p.m., the hour of mercy. Today, my family honors my dad by continuing a family tradition he started years ago. Every Sunday, the whole family comes together to sit down for Sunday lunch. This Father’s Day, we’ll have lunch like we always do and remember how great a person Dad truly was.

In addition to good food and wine, my dad also really enjoyed tennis. During his short

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www.petrolawfirm.com | 1 -Mark Petro

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