Between Yesterday and It Never Happened

For those of us who are missing one or both parents Mother’s and Father’s Day takes on a whole different bent. While I’m lucky to still have my mother alive and well at 82, my father passed at 59 so Father’s Day for me is a day of reflecting on the past while still trying to be present. The following are some Thoughts From Today’s Walk (recovering from a pulled gluteus and bronchitis).

Today is the 25th Father’s Day without my dad – I think about him daily but miss him like crazy on days like today. Looking through some old photos in albums, framed or the ones my family post on Facebook I can’t believe 25 years have passed it seems like yesterday and then it seems like it never happened.

Walking with my headphones in my iPhone Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade starts playing and I start tearing up remembering how much we both loved his music and watching Jimmy Stewart and June Allison in the Glen Miller Story. Watching the 4 O’clock Dialing For Dollars movie was a ritual as was watching every John Wayne movie on Saturday afternoons.

This was dad’s favorite time of the year,  4th of July his favorite day of the year. We’d spend the day with family first walking into town to watch the parade. Then we’d all walk back to my grandparents house where my grandfather would be cooking his clam chowder and clam cakes. After devouring the wonderful food we’d all play croquette (our parents sometimes not as sober as they were earlier). This was followed by a visit to the carnival, an evening cookout and ended with fireworks. What made it even more special was the fact that my father was on vacation and we’d be heading to the beach. Man could he swim and love to swim. There’d be clam boils and beers being kept cold in a fresh water stream. He’d be wearing boots and black socks with his bathing suit and have a white V-necked T shirt with his Camels and lighter either rolled in his sleeve or in one of his socks. His brother Danny my cousins and Aunt Alice would be there too and my mom would pop by after work. Then it would be time to go home, but not after swimming to the raft and diving off his shoulders, hunting for periwinkle or digging for clams. It was lovely yes it seems like yesterday and it Did happen.

Thanks for the memories dad and I didn’t mind you controlling my play list; Moonlight Serenade, Eddy Arnold Make The World Go Away, Louis Armstrong It’s A Beautiful World, Ray Charles You don’t Know Me, Glen Miller’s String of Pearls. Coincidence? I don’t think so I think dad gave me a father’s day gift!


Leader Of The Band…

After a day immersed in Oprah’s Master Classes, and Super Soul Sunday, I’ve had a lot to digest. There were so many AHA moments, but two stuck with me while I was running. How Oprah explained all the synchronicity that lead to who she was. Second was her passion about teaching and making a difference. As I ran I tried to retrace my steps back to a seemingly insignificant moment that has molded me into the teacher I am today.

I don’t recall the year but I was either in seventh or eighth grade. My brother had come home from school asking my mother if he could take drum lessons (this was inevitable he drummed on everything since he was a toddler). Oh no I thought another way for him to get more attention than me! Really the only reason I decided to play an instrument was I was jealous of my younger brother. I asked my mother if I could also play an instrument. Knowing her favorite instrument was the saxophone that’s the one I chose. The only stipulation was that I had to play it until I graduated high school. Little did I know how this would impact my life forever. As you may have guessed jealousy is not a good foundation to start anything. Yet when I first got my sax I was excited and thought I squeaked and squawked through Twinkle ,Twinkle Little Star pretty well. After a month of group lessons my teacher thought I could use private lessons (you can imagine why). Mr. Roger Dietz my saxophone teacher and eventual high school band director was about to create a monster!

You’re probably thinking wow she got great at playing the saxophone – Hardly I got a first hand account on how to instill confidence. I was so afraid to make a mistake I could hardly play yet Mr. Dietz allowed me and others like me to be in the band. Knowing that if I could find my confidence and overcome my shyness I could eventually learn. That’s exactly what came to pass, when I found my confidence I was good enough for second or third chair. Yet the biggest gift was I found my voice. The band was a place where I felt accepted and a part of…

That beautiful being gave us all a voice, we had a wonderful band because we had a wonderful leader… A true leader of the band! Mr. Dietz, Uncle Roger , Your example lives on in the teacher I’ve become and  in the Martial Artists I teach!

Thank you, forever grateful,