Monday, June 4, 2007

Learn from everything

Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death. I was going to write a historical piece on the hows and whys of the cancer that took him so quickly, but that's really not important.

I am one of 8 siblings. 5 brothers and 2 sisters if you are counting. I have an idea that watching my older brothers and sisters while growing up helped me to try to live this ideal: Learn from everything.

My Dad was quite a character, he was loud, funny, and had a laugh that was *truly* contagious. One thing I remember so strongly about him as I hit my teen years was that he embarrassed me all the time. Not that he said things about me per se, but that I was embarrassed of him.

Maybe all kids are like that with their fathers. I don't know for sure. But one thing I do know was that when I found out that he was going to die from cancer, it didn't matter anymore. I was no longer concerned about trivial things and realized that I really didn't know much about the important things in his life.

Armed with a new 8mm video camera, I interviewed my Dad like a good 60 minutes reporter. I realized that in all the years I had never really asked him about HIM. Growing up, his father the train conductor, his family, first wife, being in the Berlin Crisis and the Air Force, playing AAA Yankees baseball, meeting Mom, and the things that make a person who he becomes.

That tape is six years old now. My little brother and I watched the tape a few months ago and both had a good cry. I'm really glad I did that.

Back to the title of this post. Here is the takeaway: This is it. We don't get any more chances at this. Be happy, there are a ton of things to worry about and be pissed at, but - who cares? I'm living, baby. Do things you want to do, take vacation, take up a hobby you are passionate about. l.i.v.e for the love of god!

I love my girls more then I could have ever thought I could love anything. (all three of them) and I am super-conscious to drink in the good times together because it could end tomorrow.

And one thing's for sure, it will end one tomorrow.