A letter to Dad on his 70th birthday*
It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone six and a half years. I remember thinking you were so young to die at 63, and now today, you’d be 70. SEVENTY. That sounds so old somehow.
WO: Weekly Obsessions
I’m not complaining, but there are noticeably fewer 30 Days of Thanks posts in my social feeds this year. Is it no longer trendy? Do we have less to be publicly grateful for?
Whatever the case, I’m wishing each and every one of you a blessed Thanksgiving and hope you all have much to be thankful for.
Whether you’re fortunate enough to be with family or having your own Friendsgiving; whether you’re avoiding shopping at all costs or braving the Black Friday crowds for that ultimate deal; whether you’re a hardcore vegetarian or meat maniac, I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday and time with people you love.
Until next time, here’s an all-too-true take on how Thanksgiving changes as you grow up.
Gobble till you wobble, y’all.
WO: Weekly Obsessions
Pardon my delayed post, but as you read on you’ll see I have a very good excuse! Get it while the getting’s good.
- Brother’s Birthday: My big bro turns 32 today, and though we may not be celebrating together, he must be having a great one. Yankees are up (as of this writing), cold beers are abundant and he’s got an amazing little family who loves him so. 143, Moose!
- HAWAII: I’ve been up for 13 hours, but that’s not stopping the excitement. I set sail tomorrow for a 10-day cruise around the Hawaiian Islands and up to Vancouver. If this first picture is any indication, it’s gonna be a good one.
- Disney Cruise Lines: I know, I know. This is so off-brand for me. But, when your friend’s friend hooks you up with a dream vacation at a fraction of the price, you say, “Let it go” and jump aboard. I’m super stoked, to say the least.
- Fifth Harmony – “Worth It”: This song keeps popping up everywhere lately. A co-worker first introduced me to it, and then it’s been all over Spotify and, most recently, the Miss America pageant. I’m not ashamed to say I’m really feeling it.
Images courtesy of: Facebook, Mah iPhone, Font Meme, Music Notes Download
WO: Weekly Obsessions
We now bring you back to your regularly scheduled Wittyburg program 😉 In all seriousness, thanks to those of you who took the time to read my ramblings yesterday. I don’t make as much time as I should to change up the content here, but it’s always nice to hear your feedback and suggestions!
- Magz’s Birthday: My favorite mama celebrated her birthday Monday (and all weekend long) with family and friends at the happiest place on Earth. We had a nice little phone date, and I know she’s already feeling great at 50-something 😉 Cheers to you, Magz!
- Lake Tahoe: I was fortunate to have Labor Day Weekend plans with a dear friend who lives near Sacramento but — then! — our mutual friends invited us camping in Lake Tahoe so we jumped at the chance to join. The views were simply breathtaking and well worth the drive.
- Remembering Slick Rick: Sunday marks two years since my dad’s death, which I can and can’t believe. Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds, but it certainly offers perspective as we experience more milestones without him. Raising a glass to you, big guy.
- “Dreams” – Life of Dillon: This trio of dudes’ debut album is sure to soar, and I’m calling this single out as the next big thing. The hook is so damn catchy, especially with the killer quote “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
Images courtesy of: Mah iPhonex3, Genius
WO: Weekly Obsessions
Fall! October! Orange! Pumpkin! … What is it about this month that makes everyone lose their collective shit? Clearly, I’m not one of those people.* Riiiight.
- MY NIECE!: Yes, this is an all-caps situation. Allison Marie was born last Thursday at 7:56 p.m. Both she and my sister-in-law are doing well, and I can’t wait to see them (and Brother, too) soon!
- These Boots: Even though NYC’s weather isn’t cooperating, every new season requires new shoes. These Bandolino rider boots were 40% off with my discount, so of course I needed them in two colors.
- Leah & Sam’s Wedding: My dear friend celebrates her marriage Saturday, and I’m thrilled to be there for her. We’ll take in the Washington sites (possibly), and eat and drink for days (definitely). Speaking of DC …
- The Government Shutdown: OK, I’m obviously not thrilled to see Congress implode. But Jon Stewart’s rant below is pretty damn entertaining, and Jimmy Kimmel reveals just how clueless so many are. Shocking, I know. Whatever your stance, it can’t be argued: The downward spiral of American politics continues.
Poor quality, but the original one is no longer available.
*Did you count how many of those very things I featured? Amateurs.
Images courtesy of: Facebook, Macy’s, Facebook, Policy Mic
Inspired by the #tbt trend on Instagram, this new series will revisit an old favorite from years past on a (hopefully) weekly basis. You’re welcome.
This week’s throwback is a straight-up repost from a (now defunct) blog I kept during my high school and early college years.
I wrote this eight years ago, and I remember crying my eyes out as I tapped away in the library. It’s eerie looking back at my writing style and most personal thoughts, but I hope it’ll give you some insight to my childhood — and how Dad’s cancer diagnosis this year made our family even stronger:
Have you ever had something change the rest of your life forever? I mean, it honestly affected every single day for the rest of your life?
I’ve got to stop blaming him for his memory loss, for never throwing a ball with me or shooting hoops. I’ve got to forgive him for not knowing who I was when Adam and I visited him every afternoon in the hospital. I’ve got to let go of the fact that he will never be the daddy I once knew, the one that smiled a lot and even joked back with us.
It’s not his fault that it happened. It’s not God’s fault either. It’s time for me to grow up already, and forget about pushing the blame on someone or something.
No one could have predicted that my mom would roll over one morning and find him, lifeless and forever changed. No one could have accounted for causing him to walk with a limp, to be paralyzed on one side, and to have a bitter, pessimistic outlook on life.
Ten years of blaming, hating and accusing has gotten us nowhere. I feel selfish for assuming that he would have recovered, no problem. He shouldn’t be broken. He should be better. But it’s out of our control and he needs me to know [sic] that I accept him.
I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to come to this realization. And yet, I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my heart and my mind.
Appreciate your loved ones, for you never know — one day, they may disappear forever
2013 update: My dad remains one of the most resilient men I’ve ever met. His strength is awe-inspiring, and I’m thankful every day for how much our relationship has grown in the past few years.
My parents spent their 33rd anniversary at the hospital this June. Dad’s receiving treatments at a rehab center on this, the 18th anniversary of his stroke. I love you, Slick Rick … keep fighting the good fight!
WO: Weekly Obsessions
Making it to mid-March is enough of an accomplishment, but you know what else we can celebrate? It’s Slick Rick’s birthday!! My favorite father is another year older, and I wish him a million more happy years.
In case you didn’t know, he’s a total BA.
Now for the little things:
- Madison Square Garden: Not quite March Madness … but my team’s in the Big East Tourney and I saw them play Seton Hall at MSG last night. The electric arena is one I will be visiting often.
- Clarisonic Mia 2: A few months of city grime finally caught up with my face, and I was in dire need of a (new) skincare regimen. Enter this precious skin-saver — two weeks later, and my complexion is better than ever.
- “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside”: Fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone is known for her straightforward, ball-busting nature. Her bestselling guide is geared toward women who want to succeed both personally and professionally. I’m a fan.
- “Rolling with My Homies” – Tupac: In true ‘90s fashion, we prepped for last weekend’s party with a movie marathon. Our top pick from all those soundtracks? Duh.
Pour one out for our homies, Pac and Brittany Murphy.
Images courtesy of: Wikipedia, Clarisonic, Bravo, Crushable
There are a lot of exciting things that a 16th year brings. Wealthy parents may shower their teens with an outlandish party, sometimes documented on MTV’s sickening show. Other kids receive a license and unleash hell on the local roads. But today, 16 marks a personal anniversary that isn’t so sweet.
I woke up to sirens the morning of Aug. 15, 1995. Mom sat at our dining-room table, head in her hands and crying softly. “Daddy’s had a stroke,” she said, and though my 8-year-old mind had no idea what that entailed, seeing a parent weep signals a sudden simultaneous sense of insecurity and understanding.
It was the morning of my third-grade orientation — at a new school, no less — and Grammy would take me to meet my teacher, Mom explained. I don’t remember if I cried then, but I do remember an overwhelming numbness. When adults talk to you, rather than around you, it often forces you to grow up yourself.
Gram took me to the hospital that afternoon. I held Brother’s hand and walked tentatively into the room. I will never forget what I saw and heard: Dad hooked up to beeping machines, doctors giving Mom information about local funeral homes, and Brother telling me that Daddy might not know who we are. Even now, it brings over a wave of emotion that I can’t quite control.
The following months and years brought fresh feelings of frustration and questioning. From walking to writing, and eventually driving, Dad had to relearn every basic function. As the sole southpaw in the family, I was tasked with helping him learn to do things with his now dominant left hand.
He still walks with a limp, and there are days when mobility is not its best. And, I am still selfish at times — worrying how he will walk me down the aisle or complete a father-daughter dance. We aren’t perfect in our relationship, and I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to what I perceived as the idyllic “Daddy & Me” situation.
But, I love him. I’ve learned from him. I respect him for the man he’s become. And I raise a glass to him this evening, 16 years into the new life that was thrust upon him.
I’ll always be your Mouse, no matter what this world brings upon us. 143
At my college graduation … Dad now volunteers at the hospital that saved him, as well as for the local Boy Scouts and elections committee.