Simply because I don't want people to think I'm depressed, or a mopey person, or a Negative Nancy. I try to be really optimistic about life, even in hard times like now. So...here's the sad part (and I seriously debated posting this because it really is so personal to me) and I'm going to write a little bit about it for two reasons. 1) I thought maybe, just maybe, someone out there could relate and this post would touch them and 2) I have been told that my best posts are the ones where I share personal, raw, down-to-the-core/this-is-me-and-if-you-don't-like-it-oh-well posts.
Four years ago my dad passed away. He was struggling from a very rare disease called scleroderma. We all (including him) really thought he was going to beat it, but he didn't get a chance to. This is, I believe, the last picture I got to take with him:
It was taken on his 60th birthday, the last birthday we got to spend with him. February 27th, he would have been 64 years old. Losing someone so extremely close, so near and dear to your heart...someone that should be able to walk you down the aisle of your wedding or get to meet his grandkids...it breaks my heart to think about. I know everyone says this about their dads, but my dad was really a stand-up guy. I want to share a cool story with you (that even I didn't know about until Wednesday) that my uncle shared with me. First and foremost, you need to know that my father was a judge. Then the story will make more sense. Ready? This is what I read on my uncle's Facebook page on my dad's birthday (trust me, you'll want to read it):
"My Big Brother Pete...yep...talent sure ran deep in this family. Miss and love you. True story. A defendant in his courtroom was going to receive his sentence, my brother knew he played guitar through some testimony given. So, after [the sentence] was handed down, the courtroom was cleared and the baliffs took the prisoner to Pete's chambers and they played a tune together on Pete's pre-war Martins that were there. After some bluegrass...off the guy went to the Florida State Prison!"
Crazy, right? That's what kind of guy my dad was, and I hope that I have even 10% of the kindness and love that he shared. His talent was passed down to me, his talkative personality to my sister, and his smarts to my brother. Not a day goes by where I do not think of him, especially the hard days (the anniversary of his passing, his birthday, Father's Day). I am so proud to have been able to call him Dad. Sometimes, whether you believe in this sort of stuff or not, I can really still physically feel his presence. I've had some experiences, and I'm not going to share that here. Those are my moments to keep and share with my best friends and my lover.
So...I haven't gotten much sleep the past two nights, and I had to write about this. I just had to. Love is something we should NEVER take for granted. You don't ever know when someone you love so very much will leave this earth; and you might wish you'd said "I love you" a few more times before they do. Take a lesson from me, please, and do that. Give your husbands, your kids, your whole family and your friends big hugs and tell them what they mean to you. I promise you will not regret it. EVER.
Between my parents, I look like my dad. And he was a handsome dude, so I feel pretty lucky to have his awesome genes (mom helped)!
I love you, Dad! Thanks for giving me the best childhood & early adulthood I could have ever asked for, instilling (what I think, anyway) are amazing values and goals, being an awesome role model, and trying to sing along to the pop songs on the radio every single drive to school in the morning. I sure miss your versions with random, inaccurate lyrics and humming/whistling when you definitely didn't know the part. I might have been annoyed then (stupid teens, right?) but I would give anything to have one of those moments back. You are half of the reason I am who I am today, and for that, I am eternally grateful. :)
Just on a lighter note really quick, because I'm sure we can all agree that was a deep post, I wanted to tell you all something fabulous. I had my first ever Skype date with my best blogging friend, Lauren and she is just as adorable, witty, and funny as I thought she'd be. Oh, and a total babe. I'm so blessed to have made a true friend (although thousands of miles away and never having met [yet!]) that honestly cares about how I am doing...every single day! Love you, Lo! Also, I love you all for reading. Especially this post, because it was intense. You're the best readers a gal could ask for! HAPPY MARCH! xo