Posts Tagged ‘Dad’
An interesting thing happened last night, although I guess it was technically this morning. Either way, every year for the previous 10 New Year’s Eves, I found myself staying up past the midnight drop of the Time’s Square ball, where I’d normally sit alone in the quiet of the house after everyone else had fallen asleep. I’d breath deeply and write a blog post about my Dad. The post usually carried me to the 2:00 am mark, the time when he passed away. This year–year eleven–I didn’t do it. It wasn’t that I forgot, possibilities for the post flitted across my mind at odd times throughout the day. But I also didn’t hem and haw over the last minute decision to quietly close my lap top as I walked by to go to bed. I let the post slip through my fingers like dry grains of sand and it felt like the right thing to do.
It’s not that I miss him less now that over a decade has gone by. I’ll never stop missing him. But I think that after eleven years, I don’t need the same things I used to in order to navigate the Dad shaped space he left behind.
For a long time I had to tip-toe around the new version of my life. I was careful because I didn’t want to fall into the black hole he’d left behind. It was a lot like the first night you move into a brand new house. When you wake up from a deep sleep and try to make it to the bathroom, you don’t know where you are or how you got there. And you certainly don’t want to make a move without enough light to navigate by. But you eventually find your way.
Now, after eleven years, I don’t even need a night light. I know my way. Even with my eyes closed, I can navigate around the Dad shaped space. But even so, sometimes I still look to the light…
Today it’s been a decade since my dad died. At first I started to say it’s been ten years since I lost him, but that didn’t sound right. As much as I miss him, I never feel as if I’ve “lost” him. He never seems absent to me. Rather it feels as if our relationship has been altered to fit our new circumstances–like he’s crossed through a magical wardrobe or passed through a wrinkle in time. He’s no longer huggable, which is a definite downside to this phase in our relationship, but the trade off is that there’s a fluid, intuitive connection between us that exceeds what we had when we were just an arms length away. But despite the continued love between us, I really miss having him here.
In memory of my “old life” with my Dad, my husband helped me find this video. It reminds me of why his absence still feels so big–he’d always showed up in a million small places. He was this guy for so many of us. He’s my role model.
Love you and miss you Dad. <3
Today in the comments, please celebrate someone living who is doing the little things that mean the most.
Happy New Year and don’t forget what’s important in 2015.
Today it’s 9 years since my dad died. Every New Year’s Eve, after watching the ball drop, I sit down and write a post for him. This year I knew I wanted to include a certain song in the post, so I toyed for weeks with the idea of writing it down ahead of time. No matter what I did, I couldn’t quite make the words come together the way I wanted them to. I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to say–until I went to the movies tonight and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was amazing. And it brought it all together for me.
First the song…
It’s a Miracle by Barry Manilow
I keep this song on my run list and whenever it comes up I yell “Hey Daddy” at the top of my lungs and point to the sky. I’m embarrassingly loud but not really embarrassed at all. Of course, when I’m at the gym I give it up with a whisper, but he still gets a fist pump. It just feels right.
But why does this song remind me of him so much? Why does it pump me up every time I hear it? I think it’s because I’ve always thought of my Dad as having a secret life like Walter Mitty.
My dad was a gentle, complex and wonderful man who had all these crazy wants and dreams tucked away at his core, but he buried those wants and dreams because he didn’t know how to balance them with being a good husband or a good father. He was responsible and obligated. He just did his jobs. He led his life the best way he knew how. Sometimes he zoned out.
Just like Walter Mitty, my dad was a “ghost cat.”
(I won’t spoil it for you with an explanation of what that means–go see the movie.)
My world was a really good place because of all the choices my dad made and all the things he did for me, but I often wonder what he would have been like if he would have allowed himself more of the real life magic while he was here. But despite that, I’ve stopped thinking of him as having missed out. Now when I hear that song, I always get the strangest feeling he’s off having adventures and he doesn’t have to zone out to do it. I have an overwhelming sense he’s now joyful and he’s doing all the things he never did before. He’s going to the most amazing places. This is how I picture him when we’re running together.
When I hear that song, I know he HAS found his way home and I am always thankful that it’s still right next to me.
Happy 9th Anniversary Daddy. I heard you tonight…
“But the message here was plain to see
TOUCHING THE SURFACE is out in paperback TODAY!!!!!
Where you can find it:
*Barnes & Noble
Can you believe it’s been almost a year since I became an author? And even longer since I sold my first book and got an agent. Here’s a little walk down memory lane. Humor me–I’m nostalgic today. So in no particular order because that would add a layer of organization I’m not capable of, here’s just a few of my most fabulous moments between finding my agent and birthing a paperback…
Standing outside the Simon & Schuster offices.
Apocalypsies at the LA SCBWI Conference!!!
Meeting my agent (Michelle Wolfson) and editor (Anica Rissi) for the first time. <3
The Class of 2k12!!!!!
Came home from a run to find my ARC’s had finally arrived!!! Such a squee moment!!!
Authors, Simon & Pulse friends and Writer Buds at the NY SCBWI Conference. <3
Bookmarks!!! Thanks Jeff Fielder.
Bringing my book to the Golf Bag Holder (Eastern PA Poconos Mountain Retreat with Jodi Moore.)
First book I ever signed went to Laurie Halse Anderson. Love her.
This made it feel so real.
Loved participating in the YAmazing Race with my Apocalypsies!!!
First author event, even before my book was out. LOL! With my buds from the Class of 2k12. <3
Making friends at BEA!!! Lisa and Kim.
First BEA was even sweeter because I got to spend time with my fabulous agent. <3
Blogger love <3 Finally got to meet Erica!!!!
Joining YA Outside the Lines.
It was a BEA Apocalypsie event of awesome.
Ummmm I got to hear JOHN GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!
Made amazing new blogger friends. Kim and Grace. <3
Hanging with Jay Asher at LA SCBWI–Dude, it was awesome.
Joining the Bookanistas!
Kimmiepoppins met Mary Poppins!!!! I met Julie Andrews!!!!
Signing my contract!!!!!! I AM GOING TO BE AN AUTHOR!!!
My book was at Bologna. Takes my breath away.
My Yanni dance girls wearing TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirts. <3
Signing books at my book launch.
Good friends drove in from far away despite all the trouble with Hurricane Sandy.
Just an amazing experience.
Unable to thank my friends and family enough for their love and support on that special day.
More book launch at Oblong Books. I LOVE that bookstore and everyone in it. <3
Dad–there–even when he couldn’t be. The dedication.
On bookshelves in bookstores.
Kimmiepoppins finally gets a book launch in NYC after Hurricane Sandy delayed it. Mean Hurricane–awesome party.
Woo hoo!!! I got to speak at the NY Public Library.
I’m a fangirl–it’s A.S. King people!!!!!
I’m a fangirl–it’s Sharon Creech people!!!!
My first SCBWI faculty gig at the Eastern NY SCBWI Conference–where I got paid to talk with my hands about things I love.
Connecting with teen readers and making hedgehogs. *grin*
Loving on my writer mama, K.L. Going. <3 Wouldn’t be here without her.
And because you made it to the end of my reminiscing…you shall be rewarded with a chance to win a signed copy of the brand spanking new TOUCHING THE SURFACE paperback!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I try very hard to stay attentive to the “coincidences” in my life. I’ve come to believe that the people and things that cross my path on a regular basis are there for a reason. And my life has changed for the better since I’ve started to accept that there is a bigger purpose for all things–even the little ones.
I can’t remember what blog or conversation sent me to purchase a copy of FAILING FORWARD: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxwell but it ended up on my Kindle. I also don’t know why I had the sudden urge to pull it out the other night and begin reading it, but WOW! It was exactly what I needed. A reminder that success is not a product of avoiding mistakes, it’s the ability to pick yourself up and use the experience to move forward.
This got me thinking about a poem that I had hanging in my locker all throughout high school. I even used part of it as my senior quote…
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned
too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
You might be wondering why the universe is sending me these messages, but I’m not. (I told you–I pay a lot more attention than I used to LOL!) It’s because I’m finishing a revision, working on a draft and playing with a secret little writing project in the middle of a lot of other big changes in my life. And this translates into…I’M SCARED. Unknowns are kinda frightening. At least they scare the heck out of me. I have big dreams and what if I can’t reach them? I want to be amaze-balls. Yup, I said it. I’ve never wanted to be ordinary. I’ve wanted to be extraordinary. I’ve always wanted to change the world. And the reason I haven’t really done it up until now is not because of the million and one excuses I can drum up at the tip of my tongue. (I’ve used them often.) It’s because I haven’t always been listening to the universal memo…
EVERYONE FAILS. THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT IT.
EXTRAORDINARY IS WHAT HAPPENS AFTER FAILURE.
Why have I fought this concept so hard for so long? Why do I forget it sometimes, even when I know it? I have no freaking idea. My guess is that being scared is a pretty big, life defining thing. But I’m seeing steady growth and change in myself. I find the beauty of failure quicker and hold it longer than I ever have. And I’m appreciative of all the little reminders that cross my path and help me to keep failing with style. And because I like to share, it would make me feel good to be your push in the right direction today…
Don’t forget how far you’ve come by picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. Think about your most epic failure that turned into something amazing. Define your biggest loss that turned out to be your silver lining. You all know mine–when I lost my dad I woke up and decided to stop failing myself. The most beautiful, bittersweet, epic moment ever.
Success ahead…if you want it.
And it’s never to late to turn it inside out.
It’s been eight years.
Sometimes it’s still hard to believe you’re gone.
Some days it seems like it’s been forever.
I know you’re still with me
Today I just miss being in the same place that you are.
A hug would be nice right now.
Ummmm because I don’t have enough to do with back-to-school, soccer, construction, revisions and that little thing called a book launch. I’ve slowly started converting my mom’s slides to digital.
A very early picture of me. But I’m not important in this pic…check out what the two biggest influences in my life were wearing ROTFL! Who allowed this? And how did this effect my social and emotional growth?
Daddy and his baby *heart squish*
Home…there is no place like it.
I imagine he would have been looking at me a lot like this on October 30th. Notice the makeshift mobile with clothes pins and toys…my parents rock!
And this is why the book is dedicated to him…he always gave me a safe place to lay my head. I miss him.
Obviously my parents sense of style rubbed off on me but I think I pulled it off. LOL!
More pictures and interesting clothing choices to come. What’s the most interesting thing your parents dressed you in?
I thought that I’d do a funny post highlighting some of my greatest birthday presents of all time. I mean–heck I’m 42 this year–I’ve gotten some great stuff. But my mind kind of went here first and wouldn’t go anywhere else…
If my dad was still alive–today would have been the day he shaved his winter beard. He did it every year for my birthday. He knew how much I “hated” his scruffy kisses when he rough-housed with my brother and I. He used those scratchy whiskers as a weapon in the tickle wars while putting us to bed. It was the perfect torture. Ironically, after all of the initial complaining I did–begging him to shave it off–every year I got used to it. And every spring, when March 19th rolled around, I’d be sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast and trying to figure out why he looked so funny that particular morning. I think the trickster in him loved that, as much as he liked to get me with his scruff. I wish he was still here to give me that present–it was one of my favorites.
What’s you’re favorite birthday present?
Filed under: Uncategorized
As of 2am New Year’s Day it’s been seven years since I lost my dad and I found myself. This ones for you Daddy…
There’s a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout
But you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
These mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you only try turning around.
2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, its no longer
inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to
And i feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to
Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe
woah breathe, just breathe,
oh breathe, just breathe.
Love and miss you…always and forever.
If you haven’t heard me screaming and jumping up and down with joy–you may be suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss. Why all that hooting and hollering you wonder? It’s because my most amazing agent, Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency sold my Young Adult novel TOUCHING THE SURFACE to the incredible Anica Rissi at Simon Pulse. *jumping, shouting, jumping, shouting*
I wish I had some crazy story to reel you in with, but the truth is…
GET YOURSELF A FANTASTIC AGENT WHO KNOWS EXACTLY WHO WOULD BE THE PERFECT EDITOR FOR YOU.
I know it sounds easier than it is. I’ve been there. It’s worth it. I know that you can do it, so don’t give up. (((hugs)))
Well, that covers the first half of my title, but I know you’re wondering about the second half. It’s simple…I write about my Dad a lot. If you know me or my blog, you know how much he means to me and you’re aware of how much I miss him. But I have a great Mom and she’s been equally as instrumental in helping me to be who I am today. The thing is-it’s easier to write about dead people-they don’t argue with you, get disappointed or make you feel shy about expressing your mushy side. Dead people are extremely accommodating. They handle your neurosis with kid gloves. But sometimes, even if you’re not sure if you’ve used the right words, you have to take a risk and talk to the living people too.
My mom has been lifting me up for as long as I can remember…
She used to write little quotes and notes and tack them to the mirror in my room or put them in my lunch box. I grew up with one on my mirror that started like this…
"Being beautiful isn’t a talent…"
I looked at that every day and always knew two very important things about myself–my mom thought I was beautiful and she also thought that I was more than that beauty.
Back when I was growing up, a full Angelina Jolie mouth wasn’t popular or pretty. I can remember standing in front of that mirror and practicing how to hold my mouth so that no one would tease me. I did it so I wouldn’t hear someone say that my lips were so big that if I licked them, they could stick me to a wall. The mouth exercises never worked, but the quote was a good anchor to hang onto. Intellectually I knew how insignificant little comments like that should be-but it doesn’t work that way. We all know that.
My mother taught me that words have power and that I should use them both carefully and with abandon.
When my Dad passed away, my Mom asked my brother and I if it would be okay if she put our names on their stone. She wanted to write that Richard and Jean were the parents of Kimberly and Terry. She wanted everyone to know that raising us was the greatest accomplishment of their lives. Oh, the power of words…
As you continue to write and search and reach for publication, remember that you write for you and you alone and you do not have to be published to be the greatest accomplishment of someone else’s life. You write to fill your own soul and you love in order to fill the rest of them.
February 11, 2011
Congratulations!! Grandma always said you were a dreamer. Lots of people just dream and never do anything about it. Not you. When the time was right you took a huge leap, sprouted wings and landed safely in your dreams. You were blessed with such a wonderful talent and I am so proud of you. I’m sure Daddy is busting his buttons telling everyone how proud he is of his "beautiful baby"!
You are always in my heart.
The power of words…