Well, hello again. Its been awhile. A lot has changed. I’ve changed. Isn’t it amazing how within minutes your entire life can change? Saturday, February 13th, 2016 at 9:42pm, our lives changed as we unexpectedly said goodbye to one of the biggest presences I have ever known. My dad.
Today, I want to share a few highlights of what he taught me during our time together. Now, this post isn’t intended for tears or sympathy. Just as all of my posts, its meant to inform, entertain, and be a friend. If my dad would have wanted anything, he would have wanted me to entertain you. Being as my dad was one of The Brunette Blend’s biggest fans, he always appreciated a shout out. This one is for you.
I had the typical childhood. My mom and dad allowed me to dress myself in head to toe pink, wear baby headbands as a toddler, and squeeze into dresses that were too small. (Mom and Dad, I’m sorry I dressed like a total a-hole. Thanks for the support.) I was told not to use the training potty outside in the backyard and was encouraged to sing, dream, and to wear pants on cold days instead of tights. They blessed me with a baby brother that I wasted no time blaming my mistakes on and dressed up. I couldn’t love him more. We quoted movies, went swimming, had BBQ’s, played outside until our hair felt like plastic and would dance as my dad played guitar. Normal, right? Minus the fact my dad was a full-time magician and comedian that practiced tricks on us, made people’s sides hurt from laughing, took us to the magic shop, and read “Rainbow Fish” like no other. Our childhood was normal to us, but my dad was one of kind and made us stand out (and not just because he was 6’7″.)
My dad was like an onion. A lot of layers. Funny, smart, talented, loved fishing and playing guitar. He also loved going to the salon and getting pedicures, he was the best salon buddy. Whether he was aware of it or not, he taught me so much and shaped me into who I am today. I know when you’re little you’re an absolute blank canvas or sponge and you learn from your parents. What I did to deserve my mom and dad, I’ll never know. I’m forever grateful though.
-“Never Give Up, Never Surrender.”
A quote from Galaxy Quest that soon became a motto for our family. Whenever we were frustrated or feeling defeated, my dad always offered support. I struggled in math and finding a job right out of school, frequent talks with my dad always included, “NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!” or “what do we always say?”
-Find Something You Love to Do and Find a Way to Get Paid For It.
I feel this is typical parent advice, but to see someone actually live it, made it impactful. About two months ago I was talking to my dad on the phone and his journey to becoming a full-time magician finally came out. He had many jobs and eventually made his hobby his career. I will always remember him saying, “I like making fun of people, so I had to try and figure out a way to squeeze that in.”
-Be a Best Friend
My dad was a talented performer, but he had a true talent for cultivating relationships. There was never a birthday where he wouldn’t call and sing to his friends, there was never an anniversary where he didn’t wish them well, and there was never a time when he didn’t go out of his way for people. He was always willing to talk and listen, have a jam session, tell you ENDLESS jokes, or make you a Bloody Mary with his favorite mix, Zing Zang.
-Live Life to the Fullest
He was an example of many things, but he truly lived his life how he wanted. His days were spent with family, friends, making people laugh, fishing at his favorite spot, and having coffee on the porch. I know he regretted nothing. He was happy and truly felt lucky. If you’re unhappy, do something to change it. Life isn’t all about money and status. Strive to be happy.
-“The feeling of nervousness is a lot similar to excitement. You’re not nervous, you’re excited.”
One of my favorite lessons and reminders he has ever given me. It explains itself.
There are countless memories and lessons that will forever be engrained. Although there is a 6’7″ hole in my heart, times like these make me grateful for a good memory. I’m blessed to have known him, been a part of his circle, and to have had him as a parent. His life will never be forgotten, because it was too big and too loud, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Everyday before I left for work, he would say, “Have fun storming the castle!” Well, it is his turn now and I hope he’s having fun storming his new castle. “I still love you more than anything in the world. Love, your baby girl.”