Happy Father’s day!

Good morning, dad….

Happy Father’s day!  I wrote this post yesterday, but didn’t get the chance to post, so today’s the day!

I can’t even remember the last time I wrote.  But it’s been three years today since you passed on, and while you’re always on my mind, June 16th is always one in which I like to sit with the fact that you’re no longer physically here.  It’s still strange I can’t call you on the phone even though, I still, three years later, pull your number up on my phone to give you a ring and talk about my day.   I went to sleep last night begging to see you in a dream, but alas, you didn’t turn up.  That’s okay.  You’re always with me, but I sure would have loved to see your face. I would have loved to see your eyes.  Maizy has your eyes.  They’re so beautiful. I miss seeing the joy in your eyes and hearing the joy in your voice.  I miss the way you rocked back and forth on your feet.  Your brothers did that, too.  It was fun to see you all together rocking back and forth and back and forth.  You all had pep in your step.
I do not miss you any less that I did the day you passed on, and I don’t feel any less grief, but my relationship with it all has changed.  It changed in a way that allows me to have peaceful sleep.  And while I sometimes find myself crying out of the blue, it’s not as often.  I tell Maizy stories about you ALL THE TIME.  You would have loved each other.
I’m not playing many shows these days, and I miss it, but raising Maizy gives a different sense of purpose to me, and I’m incredibly grateful to have so much time with her.  She is a pure light in the world.  She is kind and she’s generous with her love.  She’s also starting to talk a lot more.  Some of her words include: meatball, pizza, cheese stick (I swear she eats a very healthy diet, but for some reason has chosen these words to say! HA!).  Some other good ones: Bicycle, big truck, mama bird, pretty bird, dog, cat, people, baby, bahhhhhhh baby, owl baby, more baby, please mama (my favorite!), etc………She loves to say people’s names, too.  AND, she loves looking at photos of her friends.  She wants to stay connected to everyone at all times.
I talked with you for years about my yoga practice.  Why I did it.  How it made me feel.  And also about going to school to become a teacher.  I mean, I’m pretty sure I first mentioned this over 20 years ago.  Well, I’m in the process of getting my 200 hour teaching certification now, and will begin a 300 hour, year long training, come August.  This one focuses more on Yogic philosophy, meditation and pranayama.  On that note, I completed a 25 hour yoga intensive just yesterday.  I’ve never done anything like it, and I’m so inspired.  The class was taught by Srivatsa Ramaswami.  He’s nearly 80 years old. I felt humbled and honored to be a part of his world for five days.  Here’s a photo of me asking him a question!
Soooooo, these days I’m taking care of Maizy (and our family)  and studying Sanskrit and Yogic Philosophy.  Have been writing some songs, too!  Danny just finished up a new album that’s beautiful.  He’s done a bang up job balancing being a papa, being creative, and getting business taken care of.  I’m in awe of his ability to get so much work done.
OH, and we have a membership to the YMCA! The smell reminds me of my childhood.  It reminds me of being in the pool with you.  And of lifting weights with you. And jogging on that hilarious little track.  I think we had to go around 54 times to run a mile! HAHA!
I guess that’s all for now.  I think I’ll write more often.  This feels good.
I miss you, dad.  I’m thankful for the energy and vibrance you left me with.  You make me want to be a kinder and more generous person.  You make me want to lead a life full of goodness and grace.  Thank you for trusting me with you in your final days, your final hours, and with your final breath.  It remains to the be the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.

Good Morning, Dad!

Good Morning, Dad

A blog in memory of the sweetest man on earth to let him know about my travels and time at home….

I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to start a blog.  This past Tuesday, June 16th, my sweet papa died peacefully at home and I’d like to continue talking to him…..continue to let him know what’s going on in our lives.  To tell him about our journey to have a baby, to tell him about my life on the road as a singer/songwriter, to tell him about what craft projects or house projects I’m getting into while at home.  My dad has inspired me to live the life that best suits me. The most honest life I can live.  He told me the world would be a better place if we all did what we love to do.  He said it was the most responsible way to live.  My dad was the healthiest man on earth until he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three weeks ago.  He died one month to the day of his last bike ride of 13 miles. He was a champion sprint triathlete, never had a drink in his life, ate a perfect diet, was a champion weight lifter in his younger years, was a guidance counselor to his entire family and his friends, was the most positive man on earth…..no joke, he was.  He never had a health problem.  Not one.  Never took a prescription drug, never had a headache, and only vomited one time in his life after having bad pizza.  That was 30 years ago. My dad was my favorite person on this planet.  He was incredibly kind and generous.  He was pure joy and anyone that spent even a second with him knew it.  He was a special force in this world and when his energy was leaving his body over this past week, I could feel it.  It was impossible not to feel it.  He gave me the strength to take care of him.   We had some nights of no sleep during this past week.  He said he was never in pain, but was having trouble getting comfortable, so night time was difficult.  When I was a little girl and couldn’t sleep, my dad would sit on the end of my bed and run his fingers between my toes.  It’s one of my first memories of his care and love for me.  Six days ago, after a night of no sleep, dad was sitting at the end of the couch and I was napping on the couch with my feet toward him.  When I woke up, he was running his fingers between my toes.  He literally had no energy left and that’s what he was doing.  He cared for me while I cared for him until the very end.  That’s the kind of man he was. When my dad was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer, the doctor said he probably had three months to live.  My dad asked if there was any way to make it faster.  It actually made us laugh.  His body was not his own, he couldn’t exercise, he couldn’t eat, he lost all his muscle mass in what seemed like a matter of minutes.  Fourteen days after his diagnosis, he couldn’t walk on his own anymore.  He had no interest in living in his new body.  We didn’t want to watch him live like that for long either.  We wanted him to die quickly and he did.  He died just like he wanted to.  We joked that it was like a sprint triathlon.  On Tuesday morning, we called Hospice and let them know we thought he was getting close.  Our nurse and social worker came over straight away.  I’d like to say, having hospice around is like having a bunch of angels in the house.  They were amazing over the past couple weeks.  And they loved my dad and were amazed at how quickly he made dying happen. My cousin, Dave arrived at around 10AM the morning of my dad’s passing.  I believe he was waiting for him to arrive. Dave looks just like my papa and is goofy like him, too.  Once Dave arrived, we each took turns saying goodbye to him and letting him know it was okay to let go.  My brother and his kids were a huge part of this process.  We were all caregivers together. My husband, Danny, opened his heart so big I’m surprised it didn’t explode from love for all of us. He was our rock.  After we all said our goodbyes and sang him a few songs, Dave, Danny and my brother, Rick sat on the bed and told stories, just chatted a bit, and then looked over at around 4:00PM and noticed he wasn’t breathing anymore.  Just like that.  He willed himself to die.  That’s how true he was to his own life.  That’s how connected he was to his body and to his spirit.  So with his family present, his spirit lifted.  I swear the world must have felt it.

For the two mornings since his death, I found myself saying,”Good morning, Dad” as I was waking up.  It’s the strangest feeling knowing he’s not part of our physical world anymore.  Knowing this Father’s day will be my first without a father.  My heart is broken.  But I promised him we’d be okay and I meant it.  For he passed his joy onto me and I am committed to spreading it……..

Thanks, Dad.  For being my biggest inspiration, for spreading so much joy, for being a father figure to so many of my childhood friends, for your generosity, for your honesty, for your unwavering commitment to leading a healthy life in every way.  Thank you for being a beautiful father for the 41 years I’ve been on this planet.  I haven’t wrapped my heart around what life will be like now, but I promise to do my best to follow in your footsteps…..

Thank you, also, for always letting me order the biggest, most expensive steak on the menu starting at the age of six.