DWTS Champ Nyle DiMarco mourns the loss of his grandfather
Nyle DiMarco mourns the loss of his grandfather, Lorenzo, who died at the age of 89. The Dancing With the Stars season 22 champion shared the news in a poignant Instagram caption posted on February 15, 2023.
“The world feels empty without you, but you lived and lived a damn good life.” his Instagram caption read partially. “I am blessed to have lived in the same household with you for most of my life. Well, as I almost always FaceTime you to cheer on the espresso machine before I arrive… I’m bloody expecting a hot espresso when we meet again. I love you grandpa,” it continued.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nyle DiMarco’s grandfather had a great sense of humor
Beginning his Instagram tribute, DiMarco recalled a joke his grandfather signed to his doctor just before he died: “But the sky’s full.”
“Grandpa Lorenzo had a gift for his quick sense of humor,” DiMarco wrote. He then gave some background information on his grandfather, who was born in Brooklyn in 1933 to parents who immigrated from Sicily. All were deaf.
“However, this nuclear family never spoke the same mother tongue (and never fluent English) as we all know that love transcends borders; They developed a combination of home signs and Italian gestures,” DiMarco’s post reads.
“From that point on Grandpa, as a deaf person, knew no boundaries. Growing up it always seemed like Grandpa did it all as he told endless stories – from driving a vehicle across the Brooklyn Bridge at age 12 (the phenomenon of cars later requiring a DMV aka driver’s license etc , hasn’t happened for three or more decades) to one of my favorite stories; He and his Deaf crew build the US military aircraft. The Deafies were among the best and fastest. Now imagine the irony – the deaf were (and are) barred from military service, but the goddamn military planes were built by the hands of my deaf grandpa,” he added.
Nyle DiMarco grew up with an abusive father
DiMarco previously shared his story of growing up deaf in a completely deaf household. In an interview with People magazine In April 2022, DiMarco said his father, Neal Thompson, used to be abusive.
“I didn’t want to be alone in a room with him,” he said. DiMarco also said that his father would hit him if his mother wasn’t home, and he is grateful that his mother was able to divorce and move to Maryland from her home in Brooklyn, New York. “It gave me a real sense of comfort,” DiMarco explained.
DiMarco was very close to his grandfather, who shaped him as a male role model. As he mentioned in his Instagram post, Lorenzo was also deaf, so the two communicated using sign language — which they’ve always known.
“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had access to language, communication and love from day one. I was born into a family that was completely deaf, just like me. That’s why I decided to name my book ‘Deaf Utopia’ because I always described my childhood as perfect,” he previously said said Entertainment Weekly.
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