Today a great guy is celebrating his birthday at his new home in heaven. He is celebrating twice this month. You see he left us April 8th and had quite a crowd celebrating his arrival and today is his earthly birthday when he graced this world with his arrival.
I met Ernie “Poppop” Cermola in 1997, through the eyes and stories of his only son, John Patrick. One of the things that attracted me to John was the love and affection he had for his family, especially his dad and mom.
Ernie was the youngest of 10, he’d been a dedicated high school principal who was always known as kind, generous and loving. He, as well as his family, spent many summers teaching summer school at The Hotchkiss School, where John shared many stories of the great times they had there. Ernie had a great sense of humor and always wore a smile. He was supportive of his children and loved them dearly, as he did his wife, Kathy (affectionately, Geegee).
Ernie was one of those guys that had a great heart. He was a balanced individual, that made his family a priority but also had room for his professional family, his heart was so grand it had room for many.
When I met Ernie I saw him stop to chat with many people wherever we went and I even told John he could be mayor one day. He was accepting and loving and always said he felt better when he heard my voice on the phone every time we had a chance to chat. Ernie had the gift of making everybody feel special. He even made me a day, “Belinda Day,” which is celebrated on March 18th, right after St. Patrick’s Day. Ever since he proclaimed Belinda Day we have celebrated it without fault including his phone call to serenade me with his kazoo.
I will always be grateful to him and Kathy, his wife for bringing up such a remarkable man as John is. He is quiet but once you get to really know him you see what a stand-up man he is. Thank you, Poppop, for my greatest gift, your son. I promise to take care of him and make sure he is as happy as he can be.
I love you Poppop and will miss you so much. Love to you in heaven,
Your one and only, Belinda