Today, in 1951, this man was born… he died 21 years ago, at the young age of 47. As I approach the age of his death, it’s both surreal and more devastating. We were estranged at the time of his passing, a choice of mine that’s still difficult to live with. His battle with depression, mania, abuse, and addiction ultimately cost him everything. I watched a brilliant, funny, talented man slowly destroy his family and life. His choices in life made him not-so-popular with my mom’s friends and family… but if you love all I’ve become “despite my challenging childhood,” please remember he is 50% of what made me outgoing, strong, and opinionated.
This picture says a lot about him. His sarcasm lives on in me, as does his diverse food and musical palette. He loved sci-fi, underground music, sports, and read the paper daily. He quietly fought against the establishment, using his flag from boot camp as room decoration. (I carry on that tradition by using that same flag as decoration.) He was an atheist and artist who gave up his dream of becoming an architect for unknown reasons…
His greatest gift to me was distrusting trends. Maybe he thought it was just musical diversity he instilled in me—but children morph lessons according to their lifestyle and path. Popular music, culture, and opinions usually suck. I wasn’t raised to be a follower, and it’s as hard on me as it was on him. His strength often guides me in times like this, where speaking against the common narrative makes you an outcast and “anti-xyz,” rather than pro-freedom. Government and religious fanatics have excommunicated and executed people before… our era is no different.
On his birthday 2005, I committed to a Master of Arts Degree program. A degree that focused on nutrition; the TRUTH behind many scientific studies and the funding of those studies; how researchers often adjust findings, based on lining their profits and supporting a hidden agenda. I also learned the art of balancing Eastern and Western medicine, Eastern philosophy, anatomy and biology, and Spiritualism. Today, I’ll complete another Certification process; minor to some, but an important step to fight against the unhealthy agenda of S.A.D. lifestyle food choices. I consciously choose these goals and their deadlines in his honor.
I love and miss you, dad… on this full moon, we’ll feast on one of your crazy food bowl creations that surely make Dagwood jealous. I vow to never stop fighting as only you could teach me. <3