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!