A long time ago, when I apparently dressed to match the living room curtains (thanks, Mom!), I was a Daddy's Little Girl. I was spoiled silly and my Dad referred to me affectionately as his little "Twerp."
I got older and became a young teenager. Hanging out with my friends and seeing how high I could tease and hairspray my bangs became the top priorities in my life.
When I was 14, I dressed as a leprechaun for Halloween. It probably looked as ridiculous as it sounds. I really wanted an excuse to wear this shiny gold hat that I had, and somehow a leprechaun seemed like the perfect costume for this accessory. Maybe somewhere in my mind I knew that, being the proud Irishman and lover of all things Irish that he was (mythical creatures and all), my Dad would appreciate this costume.
On the day after Halloween, we received the news that my Dad had a sudden heart attack while on a business trip in Florida. He was 42. I was 14.
When you lose someone so profound in your life at such a young age, it leaves you wondering how that person has influenced your life. I crave answers to the questions I always wonder in my mind: what traits did I learn or pick up from him? What kind of person would I be if he were still here? What kind of relationship would we have today? I know that losing my father at such a young age has had an impact on me in a lot of different ways. I miss him everyday, even twenty-five years later.
If there is one thing I could wish for, it would be for more photos of my Dad and I together. Although I have albums and boxes full of childhood photos, the images of us together are few and far between. As parents we always want to take the photos and will find all kinds of excuses to not be in the photos. Take it from me - your children will someday appreciate seeing you and your wrinkles/unbrushed hair/unshaven beard/with a few extra pounds on/blemishes and breakouts...all of it...with them - and You - in photographs. Even if they are dressed to match the curtains.