Monday, February 22, 2016

Looking Back On All The Good... TODAY Of All Days

In life, some things we do because we love them. Some things we do out of obligation. And then there are things that we are moved to do, even if (at the time) we don't FULLY understand the significance or the lasting impact.

A little over two years ago, Natan and I were talking about our parents' upcoming anniversary. Solon overheard us say "40 years" and he said, "Oh, we've gotta do something big for them. Forty years is a huge milestone." Natan, Larel, and I agreed - and so a family lunch was planned. The location that made the most sense for an occasion like this, was the place that my parents had their first date, and where they celebrated their wedding anniversary each year - Monti's La Casa Vieja in Tempe.

It was a wonderful lunch, with as many of our local family that could make it. I was able to put a slideshow together for the occasion, and felt compelled to get it JUST RIGHT - even if it meant staying up way past my bedtime, several nights in a row. The music I included was paramount to the beginning of their relationship. Hey, I have a lot of my dad in me that way. And the look on their faces was priceless. My dad was rarely moved to tears, but he was clearly overcome with emotion looking back on 40 years of their love. He couldn't speak when it was over, for a moment, and then I heard him say quietly, "I didn't think I would make it this long. I am so glad I did."

What we didn't know at the time of the party, was that Monti's was going to close it's doors for good nine months later (November 2014), or that my daddy would only live to see one more anniversary with my mom. Call it fate, destiny, a higher power, or pure luck - but I am eternally grateful that we celebrated their 40 years of love in a major way.

Mamita, I know this day is going to be hard for you. But I want you to know this always... You and Daddy gave us the most amazing example of LOVE, TRUE LOVE. You stayed TRUE to your vows to each other - through ups and downs, successes and failures, sickness and health, LOVE and loss. Your example and your words will be embedded in Natan and me forever - "We don't have much, but we are RICH in LOVE." Think of that richness as you look back on your beautiful life together, TODAY of all days...

I love you both, today on what would be your 42nd Anniversary, and always.

Songs: Chacha Linda - Hermanos Martinez Gil
For My Lady - Moody Blues
New Horizons - Moody Blues

Monday, February 8, 2016

Six months

Dear Daddy,

This morning I woke up, after not really sleeping well last night. I had a dream about Quincy that spooked me - it felt so real, and I just couldn't seem to get back to sleep soundly after it.

All morning I felt a full 10 minutes behind, like a force was pressing against me, causing me to lose focus - not exactly accomplishing everything I wanted to on a Monday morning. It put me in a funk that I couldn't shake, and I couldn't figure out why.

In the afternoon, I sat down on the couch to have Quincy read to me, as he does every day after school. He read me a 41-page book on Meerkats, and decided that Meerkats are pretty gross little creatures. I chuckled at his "out-loud" discoveries of their worm and scorpion diets, and how they enjoy picking bugs off each other - and really just sat in awe at how much he has grown over the last year. I turned on my pre-recorded CBS This Morning, so I could catch up on the news of the day, and that's when I realized...

It's been exactly 6 months since you died. Six freakin' months. Some days it feels like longer. Some days it feels like yesterday. But I realized what that pressure was that kept holding me back today. It was my mind, imagining your embrace. I miss your hugs so much I can't stand it. You would just hold me, resting your chin atop my head, and our hearts would beat at the same time.

No one hugged like you do. It was a very special bear hug. I miss it. We all miss it.

I bought a special tequila at Costco last week. It's really smooth. You would have enjoyed it.

You would have enjoyed Beyonce's booty shaking at last night's Super Bowl Halftime Show. And the hot wings I made.

I miss hearing your voice. I would love more than anything to call you after every political debate, and just pick everything apart like we used to. You loved election season. So do I. It gets me so excited, and I wish you were here to talk to about it.

Paloma reminded me of you today. Her hair is out of control and totally awesome, and she made a face that you would make when you were really happy. And Quincy has your competitiveness down - he wants to win every game, and pouts a bit if he doesn't. He wants to perfect everything before he does it, just like you.

Friday nights are the hardest for Solon. Those were your nights. He said to tell you he loves and misses you, and can't wait to see you again.

We are still figuring out how to live in a world without you in it. I've been writing a lot. I don't cry every day anymore. I get on fine for several weeks, enjoying life and all the beauty that surrounds me here. And then there will be days like today, when I am laying on Paloma's bed, waiting for her to fall asleep, and the quiet night releases the tears that have been collecting since the last time. It's going to be like that for a while, I guess.

I don't really know how to end this letter to you, because I don't want it to end. So just know that I love you so much. All day. Every day.