Saturday, February 4, 2012

Famous Last Words

As my father was approaching his final days in this world, he told my sister Beverly and me one evening:  "You two have done all right for yourselves; "Holly, you never got what you wanted, but you've done okay."  Beverly and I exchanged looks and laughed, but I didn't know what he meant by the comment.  Was he talking about my failed marriage, my not-so-illustrious career(s), the fact that I never had children, or that I wasn't financially successful?

I didn't ask Dad to clarify.  He was tired, over-medicated, and dying, after all.  But now, two years since we lost him on February 3, 2010, I wish I could tell Dad that I'm better than "okay."  I always wanted him to be proud of me.

When I was a teen, Dad would often say, "don't worry about getting a boyfriend at your age, there are so many fish in the sea."  Late one night my freshman year, he showed up at my friend Tina's house, (where I was supposed to be spending the night) and sat in her drive-way until I rode up in a car with Tina's boyfriend at 3:00 a.m.  My dad grounded me for two weeks, but believed me when I told him that NOTHING happened in that car.  

When I was suspended from school my senior year for calling my band teacher a "prick", Dad met with the principal, and sided with me when I explained that my band teacher had ridiculed me in front of the class. 

Dad believed in me.  When I was jealous of Beverly in high school because she was prettier, more popular, and head songleader, he'd say, "yes, but she can't play the flute! You're the first chair flute player!"  And, when I got my first professional theatre job at Disneyworld, it was my dad who received the call, came down to the Modesto Junior College, and pulled me out of class to excitedly give me the news.  

There were so many times when my dad was there to pick up the pieces when I crumbled emotionally, and many more evidences through the years of my dad's support of me and my dreams.  Oh, how I wish he could've been around this past year to watch me overcome a broken femur, and see me slow down enough through the healing process to realize that I can choose to spend more time doing what I love.  He'd be thrilled to know that I'm performing again in a professional theatre production!

As I sat here writing this, I had an epiphany:  What my dad was trying to convey with his comment was that he still believed in me, all the way to the end.  He was trying to tell me that not only have I "done okay", I am okay. 
 Dad, joking around while making pancakes! 


  1. Very nice. I know you miss him. I'm sure he'd be proud of you. You are doing okay!

  2. You are so much more than doing "ok"... you enrich the lives of all who know and love you! And I cannot WAIT to see the play...

  3. See you did it!! Wonderful and fond memories of your Dad means he is not really ever "gone". I think you are OKAY!!!

  4. Having just lost my own dad this past January 4, this post has me crying this morning. There's nothing more special for many of us than our dads. Sometimes I, too, thought my dad thought I was less successful than my sister, but it was me he made his health care surrogate, me he made his power of attorney, and therefore me that he knew he could depend upon to make the hard decisions if it came to that. And it did come to that as Dad died from brain cancer, which took away all his capacity to make decisions for himself. Yes, Holly, in spite of everything . . . we are all doing OKAY!!


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