The past few years has been difficult for so many, myself included. I suffered the loss of my Dad, but have been reminded how his legacy and my memories of him have served to inspire me. He left an indelible imprint. There are so many things I’ve learned from him: how to savor chocolate, how to grow a garden, how to capture beautiful moments with photos. And my love of the beach, traveling, cooking and music is directly related to him. I miss him dearly, but continue to learn so much from his example: inspired by both the good and the bad that he experienced to live a better life.
I was able to help him during his last days, by reminding him of many of the things that he enjoyed: things we shared and even things that he taught me. He loved doing crossword puzzles. He used to enjoy listening to the crooning doo-wop music of the Ink Spots, (with gems like “I Don’t Want to Set The World On Fire”) and semi-classical music from Luciano Pavarotti And if he had his choice of Ice Cream flavors, it was usually some kind of Pineapple-Banana-Coconut tropical extravaganza, with Chocolate. I learned how to cook with my Dad. He taught me how to use tools and build things with a hammer and nails, and screwdrivers; so I could help him fix things. And we both loved the smell of Jasmine. My Dad’s favorite season was Autumn, when you could smell the chimney smoke and feel the crispness of the air. It’s my favorite too.
So recently, when someone asked me if this blog was about indulgence, it startled me a bit. I suppose some might think of it that way. But for me, these simple pleasures and moments of enjoyment are what life is all about. If you can add up as many moments like these , that you can share with others, as possible: I think that is the fabric of a happy life.
In that way, when I think of my Dad, I am so glad that I was able to help him focus on these things that he found so enjoyable in life. I miss him dearly. Although his absence is difficult sometimes, my being there for him when we knew he’d soon be passing ended up being a long-lasting gift in my own life. My Dad taught me in his last days to be thankful for everyday we have left on earth, and to try to enjoy them as much as possible. He was the inspiration for this blog and continues to be so. As he used to say “L’Chaim” which means in Hebrew: “To Life!”