In 2007 the most important, the most inspiring man I have ever met was taken from me. My Dad died unexpectedly from a heart condition that he was suppose to recover from in five days. My Dad was so amazing. He had read so many books all his life that I can’t ever match what he read. He was a High School graduate from Brooklyn who was elegant and highly intelligent. He was wise, kind and extremely funny. Everyone respected and loved him.
He took such very good care of us, yes I was very spoiled. If I was sick after I moved out he would do my grocery shopping. I was very sick with the flu once, Dad turned up with chicken soup. He saw how small my TV was and the next day he and My Mom turned up with a new TV. He guided me with both my profession and my vocation. He helped formed most of my political views though later I found my own way in all of this, and my Dad was my wisest adviser.
Yet, when he got sick I took on the responsibility to help with all the nonsense one has to put up with when dealing with our current healthcare system. I fought for him as much as I could to get him the best care that I personally could get for him. I yelled and screamed from time to time because of my outrage at his treatment at different times both in the hospital and at the skilled nursing facility later on. My Dad couldn’t speak so he pantomimed that I was his little fighter. Which was very sweet but I still felt that I had not done enough.
I was the one who found out he was gone, I had to tell my Mother. It was the hardest call I ever made. My hands were shaking as I pushed the buttons on the phone to tell her. I helped my Mom plan out the funeral. I have helped my Mom ever since but I wonder sometimes If I did enough. Both my Mom and Brother said I did but I couldn’t help thinking if I was stronger I could have gotten him through it and he would still be here.
I had a horrible writers block after Dad passed away. I had never had it before in my life but this time I couldn’t shake it. I wrote a poem after he died and that was really the last original thing I wrote for almost a year. My Mom and Brother both told me separately and together that I should write. That Daddy would kick my butt for not doing it. That he was so proud of me for writing and for doing it very well.
Finally I broke through and started to write short stories again in fan fiction about Remington Steele. I finally wrote my second book that I never thought I would write. I did it though and I dedicated it to my Dad. He is still a very important person in my life. He guides me through his words that he taught my brother and I all our lives. I miss him everyday but he is still with me. I relied on him for so much, any question I had he had the answer for it. He inspired me to love reading and encouraged me to write. He was so proud of me for writing my first book, and was my personal unpaid PR person. I really did not think I could function without him. I never thought he would leave me so early so when he did, it was overwhelming.
Now I am a functioning, independent adult but I still stop and think, “What would my Dad do?” or “Dad, what would think of all this?” I know he would have been so excited about Obama being elected President because Dad was a true liberal and not ashamed of it. When he was sick in the skilled nursing facility we came in one day and he had the paper on his lap with the announcement of Hillary Clinton announcing she was running for President. He was excitedly pointing it out to us. We told him the Barack Obama was running too. He smiled, He was happy either way he wanted a Democrat. He was showing us the way even then, it was about week before he left us.
I went every year to a Xena Convention in Los Angeles but hesitated to go because of Dad. I talked to him about it about a week before the convention and he said I should go. The four of us discussed it before the con and I decided I would go but keep in touch by phone. I went and had a great time. I had my first signing for my first book. I met with other writer and fans at big dinner. I saw Lucy Lawless live both on the stage at the con and at a concert. I had a great time.
I told Dad all about it and he smiled. I wore the t-shirt and he gave me the thumbs up…the next day he passed away. It was a bitter sweet memory. I got to do something I really loved and then tell Dad about it but I felt guilty for missing that weekend with him. Of course he would have wanted to kick me in the butt (metaphorically) for even thinking that way.
He also predicted the economic crisis we are in about five years before it happened. He always said that the way real estate kept sky rocketing that it will build up and up till boom! It exploded. He said nothing goes up with out coming down and our government better prepare for the fall. The people in finance he talked to said he was simplifying it. Simple or not, he was right.
Dad was a big reader and loved to talk about books. He was soooo enthusiastic about that. He would tell a whole book while driving to work or to the store. That includes my first novel, he would excitedly tell the story. My Mom would gently elbow him saying that they might want to buy the book to read the story themselves. Dad would just laugh and say they were interested in hearing about it.
He was the most amazing Dad and way before his time in his attitudes. He would come home from work and help us with our home work, eat dinner with us and then put us to bed. Then he would kiss my Mom and go back to work. Dad never missed a play or concert I was in. He never missed one of my brother Dave’s football games. Dad took us to every club meeting. He took me to see my first acting agent, and every audition because he didn’t want me to go by myself. He didn’t want me to ever have to face the casting couch and I didn’t. He was always supportive of me in what ever vocation I was pursuing whether it was acting or writing. He was always in our corner.
He was the most amazing person I have ever known and I miss him everyday.