Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In my memories...

I don't think I've ever posted about my dad. But today he's been on my mind a lot. He would have turned 63 today but he died in 1993.

On days like today I remember him often throughout the day. Like many dads he liked to spoil his children & in his short time on earth he fathered two incredible girls. He didn't live long enough to see what we would become because the good Lord and the universe figured his time here was over. I often wonder what it would have been like to have an adult relationship with my father. Growing up he was in and out of my life so it was hard to have any kind of consistent relationship but we made the best of our moments together. I wonder what our conversations would have been like today now that I'm married and have children of my own. If you know what's like to lose a parent you know what it's like struggle with the big milestones of your life feeling so incredibly happy but always thinking about the parent who couldn't be there to see you in this incredible moment.

He was a great person. He was a lover of people and music and saw the positive in everything. He was the eternal optimist. I miss him all the time but on days like today it's even harder despite the years that have passed since his death. Initially it felt like he was on one his MIA phases when I wouldn't hear from him in a while and at any moment he would just show up at my mom's house or one day he'd call out of the blue. But as the years pass its harder to accept that I'll never hear his voice again. I'll never hear him laugh again. I'll never watch him dance again. And then it's like it just happened. He wasn't the greatest at parenting but he was loving and affectionate and he could never stay mad at me for long.  He wasn't good at disciplining or any of the important things that children need to grow up to be responsible adults. But I like to remember the things he was good at like how he tried to make our visits as fun as possible. I remember when he came to see me at my 3rd grade performance of Cinderella (I had 1 line to say).  I remember him taking us to watch the ball drop in Time Square (the only time I ever saw it live).  Every year he took us to the circus or some local carnival or to Great Adventure in some borrowed car. I remember our many visits to Manhattan and eating in China town or Little Italy. And no matter where he was or what he was doing he never forgot a holiday or my birthday. He never hung up the phone without saying "I love you." I think in some way he might have known he wouldn't be with me long so he tried to make the time we had together the happiest moments in my life.

We used to have serious conversations despite my young age. I remember being 10 years old and talking about how hard life can be and I was lecturing him about his life style.  He would say things like "Jennifer you have to enjoy life because you never know about tomorrow."  In my darkest moments I think about what he would say & what advice he would give me.  But when I look back I see that his life was an example for me and will always be the best advice.  I have learned so much from my memories of him the good & the bad. He was human and made many mistakes & over time I understand why.  I realize that life is not easy & being a good parent is not easy at all. I know how hard it must have been for my mom to be a mother & father when he wasn't around. But he also knew that the best place for me was with my mom. He knew I needed the discipline and structure and stability that he could never give me. Instead he gave me the very best of him for as long as he could. In the end he was the best father he could be.

Sometimes it's hard when I realize my girls will never meet him especially when I see little bits of him in my daughters. They have his free spirit and his contagious smile. When Cati wrinkles her eye brows or Val scrunches her nose in such a way they remind me the he really did give us the very best of him.

I hope that from wherever you are you know how much we love you & remember you always.

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