First, I want to say thank you to the peeps who left the kind words for me. I am far from throwing in the towel, but sometimes you have to get things off your chest, ya know? I have been looking in to other forms of free promoting (i.e., press release with our local paper and am going to sit down to type one up and send it in). But, I wanted to thank everyone for the support and love they sent; I did feel it across the electronic lines. Really, I did!
Today, I wanted to blog about my step-father. Today is two years to the day that he passed away at the tender age of 70. My mother, my step-sister, my kids and I all met at Borders and then had lunch together to remember him and to kind of celebrate my and my step-sister's birthdays (mine's tomorrow and her's is Thursday). It is a very bittersweet day.
Julio (spoken with a hard "J"; always would correct you if you said "H"ulio) always loved books. He was a big history buff and the bookshelves in our house were filled to the rim with old National Geographics, war books, fiction...you name it, we had it. He had always loved going to Borders and always enjoyed the food at Chili's so this is why we go there in his memory.
When I still lived at my parents' house, he and I would stay up for hours at a time, many nights stretched into the mornings, just talking. Talking about nothing. Talking about everything. We'd make coffee and just talk. And talk. And talk. I miss that. When he passed, my mother gave me one of his coffee mugs and I can tell you that every time that I use it, I think of our time together.
I have listened to music my whole life. I grew up on stage, while performing ballets. I could honestly say that at the age of 10, I enjoyed classical music. In seventh grade, my music teacher introduced me to jazz via Louis Armstrong. As a sophomore, Julio introduced me to show tunes and more jazz greats. I can still see him and my mother dancing in their living room to Rod Stewart and Frank Sinatra. They were so happy together.
This man was as much as my father as my natural father was. I lost my natural father not long after moving to New Jersey. I was 16. I lost Julio when I was 31. I've been lucky to have two wonderful fathers in my lifetime. I miss them both equally.
My daughter still sees Julio from time to time. I think she knew when it was his time. When we were leaving my parents' home shortly before his passing, Princess made a comment that she saw angels. They must have been waiting for him. When he passed, we told her that Grandpop was with the angels that she saw and that now he helps them put the sun up each day. She was only just about two and a half when he left us and she stills remembers that to this day; she will still wake up in the morning and tell me that PopPop put the sun up or PopPop said we need rain so he made it rain.
I can still feel him around me every now and then. Not here, in my home, but watching from wherever he may be now. When I speak of the theatre, I remember when he took my mom and me to see Les Miserables in Boston and NYC. Just the other day, I was talking with someone about Rocky Horror and recounted the time when he and my mom took me and my step-sister to see it for the first time when I was 16 and she was 15; how his face lit up with the fun we had that night.
I miss him. I miss this man who snuck into my heart and became my father. I wasn't prepared to let him in. I certainly wasn't prepared to let him leave. I miss you, Julio.
Oh, and I saw the coffee mug in the cloud on my way home from lunch today. Thank you.