He was always viewed as one of the most joyful guys in the room, but last season everything changed for veteran defemseman Marco Scandella, on the second of December his father Francesco Scandella lost his long battle with cancer, a disease that has almost certainly touched all of our lives in some way shape or form.
For many young men the thought of losing their fathers is a terrifying one and the loss clearly had a major impact on Scandella who was not his happy go lucky self, understandably dealing with the hurt of losing someone that had been so important to him.
For the first time since losing his dad Scandella spoke about his loss, sharing some insight into what kind of man his dad was, the kind of man who would park his vehicle with the high beams on for hours so his son could play hockey in the dark.
“Here’s the thing,” Scandella said as per Mike Russo of the Star Tribune. “My dad, no matter what my entire life, always believed in me. I lost that one person that was always like, ‘Of course you can do it.’ Every phone call: ‘What do you mean you can’t do that? Of course you can.’ He’s always been that motivation and that one person that no matter what thick and thin always said, ‘You’re good enough.’
“Now it’s like I’m suddenly going out on my own, and not having him to talk to is pretty tough. Unless you go through it, it’s hard to understand what it’s like not being able to see someone who’s that significant in your life ever again. So I just try to reassure myself that all the lessons I learned over time from him are still in me, and I know he’s still in my heart.”
It wasn't just his immediate family that felt the loss either, when Scandella went back home to Montreal this summer to take care of his mother, he admits he was taken aback by the outpouring of concern from the local community, including from people he didn't even know.
“I’ll admit, one thing that made this summer tough was I’d run into people I barely knew or never met before and they wanted to talk about dad. Everybody wanted to ask the question, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?’
It made it tough, but it also brought Scandella some solace to know that his father had touched the lives of so many people.
“Yes, I’m OK,’” Scandella said, loudly. “But at the same time, it also brings me happiness that so many people knew him and respected him and loved him.”
Scandella now has a tattoo on his arms that reads Dec.2 and has FS, his father's initials, in script. He will carry the memory of his father forever both on his arm and in his heart, and we wish him all the best moving forward.