My dad passed away at 7:45am on December 9th, 2013. He was a kind, gentle, generous soul who spread his love to everyone he knew, especially his family. Every time my sister's and I walked in the room, he'd light up. I've honestly never felt such true unconditional love. We did so many fun things together. He'd take me swimming, skiing, driving for the first time, and of course to the casinos. Oh, the poker tables, slot machines, dice....If it weren't for him, how on earth would I know that "buying" the 4 or the 10 is one of the best dice bets you can place, while "placing" the 6 and 8 is fine but kinda woosey?
Thanks to him, I now roll my eyes at someone who sits next to me at a blackjack table and hits when the dealer is showing a 6? We'd bet on everything. We'd even bet a dollar on which elevator would open first. I blame him for my gambling blood that will surely live on. (you too, gramps!)
My dad helped me make some important life decisions and I'm so lucky to have had him to talk to every morning when I lived in Boston or Los angeles. He had always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and to never settle for just a "piece of the sky." Why not go "all in"? That was his motto.
Music was another special thing we shared. I remember him playing all his albums for me, and when alone, I'd listen to them over and over until I knew all the words by heart; I even knew every time the record was about to skip. Years later in my singing days, I'd tape myself wailing away to the music and he'd proudly play the songs in his car whenever he'd drive anywhere. Even played those songs to some of his friends...(Yikes, dad really?) I was thankfully unaware of this until the funeral recently. I blushed and nodded as so many came forth and told us stories about him, and how very proud he was of his daughters and grandchildren.
The lights that shine through
In the midst of sorrow, I am reminded once again of what I am grateful for.
My sisters, Amy & Jill- Because the three of us are so different, it's interesting to see each of our individual strengths and weaknesses as we go through this difficult time. When one of us is scared, it seems the other 2 are always there to comfort. My dad loved that my sisters and I were always very close, and his spirit is making our relationship even stronger.
My mom- So hard to even imagine what a person goes through when they lose a spouse. My mom's world was so centered around my dad as his needs grew more and more in these last months. We will be here for her as she steps back into her light.
Friends- Who on earth has better friends than I? I can tell you not many. A warm & fuzzy hug, a plate of lasagna, a simple text, email message, a shoulder to cry on, (and yes, sometimes wine). There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for my friends, and my amazing partner, Tommy, who's mission in life is to make me smile.
and finally....Music- The last night I saw my dad in the hospital, I sang to him, surrounded by my family. I wouldn't trade those 3 minutes for anything. I knew he could hear me, even through the coma he was in, through my tears, and my nose running all over the place. Old blue eyes was one of his favorites and this song says it perfectly. I as you listen, I ask you to think of someone you love very much, or maybe someone who has already passed, and feel comforted by the words that basically say that love is indeed stronger than death.
I'll be seeing you, by Frank Sinatra
Yogi Moves: Sit quietly. reflect. meditate. Sometimes in class, I'll have my students dedicate their practice to someone.
Blessings for a warm and healthy New Year. Hold on to those you love.
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