There’s not much to say at this point about the last several days as I investigate more of the back story surrounding the death of my brother, Peter T. McGuire. I’m not ready to write a tribute yet and won’t know when I shall be ready “until I know.” I’m in a kind of phantom zone where actions are futile and words shall forever not be enough. I’m doing my best, having found acceptance to be a kind ally to obstinacy.

I should, finally, explain the name. Why is Pete not “Valenti?” He was meant to be “Peter T. Valenti.” Pete joined the Valenti household before I was born, a date history records as having occurred late in 1951  My parents rescued Peter from an abusive home as a foster child, fell in love with him as he did them, and tried to adopt him. Pete’s biological mother wouldn’t consent. Undaunted, my parents said, with Shakespeare, that nothing’s in a name that can’t touch the underlying essence of the thing. A rose is a rose is a rose, and Peter was and would forevermore be their Son, every bit as much as Mike. Mom and dad made that decision, gave Peter a safe, secure, and loving home, and help him build a fine life for himself.

The way my mom and dad tell it, when I came home from the hospital after the somewhat significant occasion of my birth, Peter, 6, and my other brother, Mike, 3, entered the house from the back porch door after a session of play in the back yard. “Shhhhhh,” she said. “The baby’s sleeping.” The point is that Peter has been in my life for every moment of my life. All that ended, in as an abrupt manner as you could imagine, on Friday last (June 14). I found out about it the day after. Thus, I lived one day in ignorance of his new, better, and unearthly existence.

Pete was as much of a brother as any other could be. We are, any two of us, on God’s good earth at least no farther removed than 50th cousins from any other human being who shares this valley of tears on the third stone from the sun, and so we have a blood connection with Peter in far closer proximity. The important connection, however, has been and always will be at the soul level. When you have a brother, the link can be summed up in an instant, by the will. It lies in the memories we shared.

Only four  other people (plus dogs and cats) were there for every part of my formative years: Pete, Mike, mom, and dad. Now one of them is gone. He is not forgotten, nor will he be, and he yet lives in some fashion only explicable by the intersection of biology, faith, metaphysics, the quantum world, mathematics, and spirituality — or what we crudely sum up with the word “God.”

I won’t pretend to know anything about “God.” I do know that I have an existence, and I can extrapolate from that. When I do, I arrive at the Place that is no place, the Being that is All Being, the circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere. That’s where Pete is.

Again, let me thank all of my dear friends who have contacted me with condolences. On behalf of my family, including Mom (91) and Dad (92), please accept my eternal gratitude. — DAN VALENTI, JUNE  19, 2013, evening




  1. A Friend
    June 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    A fitting tribute. Rest in Peace, Peter.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      Heartfelt thanks, my good FRIEND.

  2. Giacometti
    June 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Dan…your brother Pete was the greatest. He had such a big heart for people whether it was at the police department serving and protecting our community or in the restaurants where he gave everyone the hospitality they deserved. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know he is safe now in the hands of his Savior.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      You nailed it, my good friend. Thank you so much.

  3. FPR
    June 20, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream
    It is not dying, it is not dying

    Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void
    It is shining, it is shining

    Yet you may see the meaning of within
    It is being, it is being

    Love is all and love is everyone
    It is knowing, it is knowing

    And ignorance and hate mourn the dead
    It is believing, it is believing

    But listen to the color of your dreams
    It is not leaving, it is not leaving

    So play the game “Existence” to the end
    Of the beginning, of the beginning
    Of the beginning, of the beginning
    Of the beginning, of the beginning
    Of the beginning, of the beginning”

    — “Tomorrow Never Knows”

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      I’m actually listening to this song right now, from Sucker Punch. Great, hopeful lyrics. Thanks.

  4. Tom
    June 20, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    Condolences to the Valenti family. Sorry for your loss.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      Thank you, Tommy.

  5. tito
    June 20, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Better wait,,,,,,,

    • Scott
      June 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Innocent until proven guilty “tito”…,,,,,,,,

  6. tito
    June 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    innocent of what?,,,’,,,

    • Scott
      June 21, 2013 at 4:46 am #

      Don’t play dumb. Although you do a spectacular job at it.

      • Varsity mom
        June 21, 2013 at 6:09 am #

        Can you throw sand at eachother in another sand box (such as topix?). This is a heartfelt tribute to a loved one. Thanks.

  7. tito
    June 21, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    @ V Mom.,,’,,not quite sure I was offending anyone, was going to make a prediction on the NBA final but decided to do it later, thinking out loud,wrote better wait. The gentleman is thinking or reading something into this, anyway sorry if a tribute was interrupted, we love the Planet and have always respected Dan, again apology to you Mom,,,,Tito,,,,

    • Varsity mom
      June 21, 2013 at 6:32 am #

      Just meant the exchange between the two of you. Looked like it was getting testy, that’s all. It surprised me.

  8. Eric V
    June 21, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family from me and mine…EV

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Thank you, EV. Give my love to Da Man From Mensa.

  9. Sean
    June 22, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    I’d say that Pete was fortunate to have a brother who was given a special gift of writing the words that all of us feel at times like this….. but are unable to share.

    • danvalenti
      June 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      This is an incredible thing to say. It has give me great comfort. Thank you.

  10. joetaxpayer
    June 23, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    Dan although I never met your brother, through your writing I got a glimpse of the man he was. Who knows he could be having long toss with The Splended Splinter and a brand new baseball. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    • danvalenti
      June 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Beautifully said. Many thanks.

  11. Charles Trzcinka
    June 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm #


    What a wonderful tribute to your brother! I’ll remember the end the best. “When I arrive at the Place that is no place, the Being that is All Being, the circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere. That’s where Pete is.”

    Pete will welcome you with open arms…