I woke up with a bit of a melancholy feeling this morning. I could not exactly put my finger on it, but just a tinge of sadness. I quickly chucked it up to the tragedy in Boston, an exhausting weekend, and what felt like a bit of a cold coming on….THEN, when I sat down at my desk to get organized, the song Rosanna by Toto started playing.
A rush of childhood memories flooded me. I loved that song. Most notably, I remembered visiting friends of my dad’s and using their unbelievably cool JUKEBOX to play Rosanna over and over again. My dad was cool, he knew cool people, and we always had a cool time together. That’s what I was thinking when the song came to a close.
At the same time, I received an email from my mom pulling me back into reality. Today is April 23rd. Did I see that gel manicures are bad? Read the paper today….and, did I forget that my dad died 10 years ago. A decade ago, and now all I am left with is cool memories.
I can’t believe I lost track of time and didn’t pay attention to the date. I certainly cannot believe I went to bed without remembering what today is – an anniversary.
Whether I went to be remembering or not, I obviously still woke with the feeling that today was no ordinary day. It is an anniversary. Not the happy kind, though. A sad anniversary. One that I want to forget.
My dad was not really my dad. He was my stepdad. A part of my life since I can remember having memories, he surely felt like a dad. He took me on my first airplane, brought flowers to my dance recital and sat in the first row, taught me how to ride a bike, let me cry on his shoulder when my heart was broken, smiled like a goofball at my graduate school graduation and wedding, and was there when my first son was born. He missed my second son coming into this world just one month after he died.
Growing up, I hated being a child of divorce. I did not like explaining this was my ‘real’ dad when introducing my biological father. I wanted one happy family. A mom, dad, kid(s), and a dog. I never got one big happy family or a dog growing up, but what I did have is a lot of love thanks to my [step] dad.
He came from a big family who all embraced me and literally made me feel as one of their own. I went to work in Pittsburgh and New York with my dad. Everyone loved him whether it was in our little town or in the massive Javitz Convention Center. He was the ‘man.’ I learned a zest for life combined with a tough work ethic were both important.
I found that honesty was the best policy. Funny, last week when I was at a basketball tournament out-of-town, and I said to another mom, ‘I really don’t want to go to f—ing place x,y,z,’ she commented that she loved my ability to be honest and say what everyone else was thinking. My dad taught me that. Be true to who you are.
I try to be true to who I am daily. I aim to work hard at being a mom, writer, and chasing my inventing dreams. I might have been from a broken home, but I witnessed amazing devotion between my mom and my [step] dad. I seek that for myself, too.
Now, my dad has been gone a decade and I don’t think that it matters so much that I forgot the sad anniversary because the happy stuff lives on….Just last night, Blake, who never met my dad was trying to talk with a heavy New York accent. He asked me, ‘If I talk like that enough, will it just become my regular accent? I want to sound like pappy Jerry.’
So, it comes as no shock that I feel a tiny bit blue today, but I know I am doing my job because the good stories are staying with us.
Miss you Dad.