This year for July 4th, instead of barbecuing with friends and watching fireworks, my family and I counted every last minute we had with my dad until he finally passed on Sunday afternoon, July 5th. That weekend was a whirlwind of events, but I am grateful to have had the last 1.5 years to grieve and mourn and intentionally make the most of whatever time I had left with my dad.
I know no relationship is perfect, and the reality is that my relationship with my dad was very far from perfect. Anyone who knows my family in "real" life knows that he left a lot to be desired as a dad. But, my dad had his moments. Though he was far from perfect, there are some really great parts of him that I loved--parts of him that, though he is gone now, are still alive in me today.
My dad taught me to have a little fun in life, spoil yourself sometimes, and enjoy good food. He's the reason our family goes nuts over prime rib for every birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and potentially why I'm now addicted to ice cream. He's the reason I played volleyball and ran track & field in high school and why I participated in any kind of sports at all. It's because of my dad that I fell in love with music, as he let me sit on his lap as a kid while he relaxed to classical music, 50s and 60s rock and roll, and The Beatles. He's the reason I became a singer and musician, which are enormously significant parts of who I am today. Lastly, my dad taught me to stand up for myself and not take crap from anybody.
Even though he was far from the perfect dad, I always thought he'd be a fantastic grandfather and looked forward to that chapter of his life. I'm heartbroken that that chapter was cut short, but I know that my dad's legacy of a love for music, playing sports, and celebrating with prime rib will live on in me and in his future grandchildren--especially the prime rib.
Here's to my dad. May he enjoy an eternity of great music and prime rib while he rests in peace.