Tag Archives: love

DADDY | A STAR

Yesterday, our Dad became a star. There’s still a lifetime of things to say, but here is step 1…

Today I fly to India to join the strongest person I know, my mom, and a community of friends and family, to help the world say goodbye to his body. His light. His love. His spirit. His crappy jokes. His absolute moral perfection and purity. Those will live on forever. Envelop us from moment-to-moment. Protect us. Remind us. Break us but only momentarily. Because his strength and resilience are also with us forever.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful to have called you Daddy for 42 years, and now, to close my eyes, or to look at the sky, or to look at your grandkids, and be reminded and fully inspired to do the same. Forever. I will see your body soon. I will do my best to live in a way that makes you proud and is worthy of your legacy. See you soon, Daddy. You’d be proud and brought to tears if you heard Anaiya explain her love for you, and, how she knows you’ll always be with us. I’ll whisper it in your ear when I see you. 

Also, go Eagles. You earned this Super Bowl run with a near lifetime of dedicated fandom. 🙂

Thank you all for your love and support. It’s a testament to the person he will always be and the person my mom is. Send love. Send strength. Shed no tears. Channel that emotion deeply and powerfully toward the people you love.

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under daddy

TYMMPB… | You’ll Take Care of Them

There are two people in your life you have absolute, undeniable responsibility for, from the moment you’re born. Your Mumma. And your sister.

I don’t want this to sound overly dramatic; I simply want to make clear the role you play in their lives. (Note: I have the same conversation with your sis lest you think there’s some slant or bias here.)

There’s a one month period every year where this will be more important than ever: January 12 – February 15. Why? Because you’ve got Anaiya’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and your Mumma’s birthday coming at you faster than you’ll know what to do with.

Keep calm. Give hugs. Sit in laps as long as you can; and when you can’t any longer, sleep in them. That last one lasts forever; I know, because I still sleep in my Mumma’s lap.

You did a bang up job of it this year. You let them get whacky while you just smiled, and chilled, and hugged, and loved.

Sometimes, it can really be that simple. You found a way to make their day about them, but making sure you never made it about you. So young, and already, so wise. Keep it going, Jaanu.

TYMMPB | Feb

And Happy Birthday, Mumma. Also, the house didn’t always look like that mess behind you. We’re moving soon.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TYMMPB… | of your Shoulders

We’ve already talked about the power of touch. About being grateful and thankful. About building bridges. We’ve covered some topics.

This might be our most important.

Give. Just. Give.

Of yourself. Of your soul. Of your wallet. Of your time. Of your energy. Of. Your. Self.

You may not realize it, but 6 months in, that’s what you’re doing right now. You’re being present. You’re spending time. You’re giving love. And hugs. And holy hell are you giving hugs. It helps that you’re a fairly huggable young man, whose body basically morphs to and absorbs the shape of whatever you hug, but still. Holy hell do you hug.

Where was I? WTH I just lost myself thinking about hugging you by the way. Remember that when I take your car keys away one night.

But give.

Think of progress. Think of your history books. Not even US History, but World History. Think of how we got from Pyramids to Skyscrapers. From Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. From suffering to suffrage. From infant mortality to required rear-facing car seats up to like, 90 lbs (I exaggerate, but still.)

We got there because people gave forward. Ideas. Time. Energy. People gave. To make the world better than it was.

I look back on my childhood and even early adulthood and realize I never gave enough, and I never acknowledged, enough, what I was given. Perhaps the most important thing I was given were shoulders. To lean on, to cry on, and then, and now, to stand on.

I ask that you acknowledge always the shoulders you are standing on so you are thankful for what you’ve been given, but perhaps even more importantly, you look up, you look forward, and adjust your shoulders for the feet looking for their foothold. It will come at you sooner than you think. Your ability to make an impact in this world and to give starts on Day 1. (Nice work, by the way.)

TYMMPB | December

You make an amazing elf. You will, undeniably, make, an even more incredible person. I’ll leave the definition of “incredible” to you, forever and for always.

Today you make me proud because in you, I see already, such an incredible ability to give.

Go on and dust your shoulders off, Jaanu.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TYMMPB… | #iamgrateful and #iamthankful

Two years ago I hit a rough spot at work. I have many of those. I hope one day I can explain why … so you don’t have those yourself.

Two years ago, I hit a rough spot at work, and I made an active choice. I was going to spend every some time every single day talking about what made me grateful and what made me thankful.

I did this for a long time.

About a year later, we realized we were going to have you.

And today, two years later, here we are. Here you are. And you’ve plugged yourself into the perfect place. You are the love your sister’s life, from moment one; and your mother and I feel the same.

TYMMPB | November

Two years removed, I look at this moment and say unequivocally: #iamgrateful and #iamthankful. I say I am, and I tell you Jaanu, no matter how I may act in precise moments, I always and I always will be. You (and your sister) have made certain of it.

Today you make me proud because, today, you have given me yet another reason to be forever grateful and forever thankful.

I love you, homie. We were a family before you; but we are only a complete family because of you.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TYMMPB … | We Click on the Immeasurable

Rulers. Scales. Tape. Google Analytics.

These are all tools you use to measure, Length. Width. Height. Weight. Clothing. And the performance of your website.

What gets measured, gets done, goes an adage you will probably here when you get to working (it makes me sad that some things, I believe, will never change.)

What you’ll learn over time though, is that what truly matters is the space between everything that can be measured. The specific and the measurable gives us security and confidence that we can truly know the world (we can’t).

What’s in-between however, is infinite. It moves in every direction. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, sure; but the truest distance between two points is actually magic. With all the things that matter, there’s no straight line, just infinite emotion and hope and love shooting out in every possible direction.

It’s immeasurable. And the immeasurable, the thing you can’t know or measure, the thing you can only believe, is the only way to explain moments like this.

TYMMPB | October

You. And Dadi Masi. How you and your sister have forged such a strong bond with her when geography, time and space conspire to enforce the opposite, I can’t know. I can only know, it’s beautiful, and it’s immeasurable.

And it’s further evidence that you’re mine. Today, you make me proud because you understand that sometimes, you don’t need proof or evidence, you just need to feel.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TYMMPB… | You Build Bridges

It ain’t right.

It.

Just.

Ain’t.

Right.

Jaanu, there are some people who are trying to turn us into a world of walls. Walls have sides. Not the good kind. The kind you take. Not the kind you leave.

I’m not a fan of walls. Your Mom and I are looking at buying a house soon and every time we walk into a place the first thing I’m looking at is what walls we can take down. I get them. Walls are necessary. Like medicine is necessary. Like funky cheese is necessary.

But too many walls and they lose their purpose. You move from a place where you’re keeping the bad things out, to a place where you’re keeping only you, in.

That’s why I prefer bridges. Bridges have sides too. The kind you talk about because you’re committed to leaving from or going to. The bridge isn’t the end goal. It’s the vehicle that enables the ultimate end goal: connections.

TYMMPB | September Sandwich

Today you make me proud because, just a few months in, and you already get the value of bridging. Keep doing that hard work and heavy lifting, BBCC.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TYMMPB … | Touch Matters

I’ve had lots of discussions about the power of human influence. There’s much to cover. What is it that we can do that puts us in the greatest position to impact another person. To affect another person.

Quote after quote talks about the power of words. The impact of words. Our greatest drug. What they have more power then.

Words.

But there’s a funny thing about words. They’re easy. And so, though on the high end, they may have the ability to move, to build, to halt, to destroy, to inspire, to elevate, to bewilder, to deflate. On the highest of ends I see that. I get it.

But you can also throw words away. You can lose them. They can leave you before you pass a thought.

That’s the range of words. You know what does words one better?

TYMMPB | August - Hand

Touch.

Touch can be beautiful. Touch can be devastating. But it is always acknowledged. It is powerfully deliberate. And as a result, it’s rare to have touch that isn’t meaningful. Impactful.

I’m not saying it can’t be accidental. But you give it your own whirl and tell me, in the end, which made the greatest impact. A casual word, or casual contact.

Elbow. Cheek. Hand. Head. Shoulder. Waist. Knee.

More than a thousand words, son, I tell you, placing your hand on any one of these places can erase the need for words. Can show us the limitation of words.

Today you make me proud because you get it. I tried telling you that, but I grabbed your two fingers and held on through the night instead.

Because. Touch.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TYMMPB… | Being Silver and Exact

I don’t think you will ever realize the weight on your shoulders. Actually, the expectations cast as glances, shadows, dreams upon you. Even at this age — 2 months today — every person who looks at you has expectations.

It’s not easy. I failed often, and miserably — often miserably, miserably often — with that same weight on my shoulders. But watching you this past month gives me extraordinary peace. Because I realize something you do extraordinarily well already is reflect back to all of these people what they expect of you.

When your sister sings to you, you indulge her voice, her pitch, her volume, her passion and even, her sometimes unknowing heavy handedness. She can’t help it. It’s love.

When your mother feeds you, you indulge all she has to offer you. Her nourishment, sure, but her love, her warmth, her hold, her comfort. You take it all in furiously and give it back, cheek to cheek.

When your Dadiji and Naniji come to visit. And know this, between them, you’ve had a grandmother here for about 7 of your 8.5 weeks. When they come to visit you let them hold you, hug you, change you … you reflect back all of the extraordinary, pure and intense love they direct your way by being. In their arms. Being.

I mean wow. Look at how much happiness you bring people by doing nothing other than being?

That’s you. A mirror for all of our love. Incredibly patient. Hell, you went 6 days without dropping a deuce, going to borderline jaundice, and the only thing we could tell the doctor was “yeah, he’s … a little fussy? we guess?” At two months you managed to calm our nerves by not letting the world phase you. A mirror that managed to bend and reflect back even our own insecurities in beautiful ways distorting them into something calm, simple, beautiful. Handsome.

Maybe you’ll go a life time being that reflection to all around you. It’s something powerful. People need to see in you their best selves. People do see in you their best selves.

Watching you work your way through month two has made me realize that I can be that better mirror, too. For your mom. For your sister. For your grandparents. For all the people in our lives. Thank you for making me proud, Jaanu. But thank you more for teaching me the importance of reflection … and reflecting. Literally, in some cases. Like this video.

Happy second month, son. You continue to change our lives in ways we never thought possible.

 

1 Comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

My $.02 | The Best of Other People Tributing Purple Rain

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about Prince. He has always been the consummate entertainer for me. It was never a contest. And what I love and admire about him is that he only became greater with time. As I grew older. As I gained the  ability to poke more and more holes in everyone else’s perfection, and as I became more and more perforated and imperfect myself. Prince … stayed perfect.

So much has been said about his music and his influence. All of it does justice to who he was. To minorities. To women. To musicians. To independent thinkers. To honest people. To those who fight everyday to make the alternative the mainstream. And ultimately, to those who just don’t give a damn.

He’s so much  more than Purple Rain. It’s not even my favorite Prince song. But I felt compelled to capture all the tributes to Purple Rain in one place. Here. Now. If for no other reason than to have it for myself.

These are not ranked. They can’t be. Try and rank them yourself. You’ll succeed. Until you go back and listen to them over again and re-rank everything.

Adam Levine – Purple Rain (for Howard Stern) – Calm down. Maroon 5 was special about 15 years ago (even a little prior.) Adam Levine has a unique voice, has some guitar skills. And if you leave this tribute not a fan, watch it again. Until you do. The fact that he did this several years ago is, IMHO, the ultimate tribute. It wasn’t a eulogy. It was a living tribute to a living legend. No nostalgia, just a superstar showing fandom for one of the greatest.

Bruce Springsteen – Purple Rain (Barclay’s Center) – It’s outstanding to see this respect reciprocated. Prince considered Bruce to be one of the greatest stage leaders and frontmen ever. An individual with an amazing command of the audience and his band, who was able to evolve sets on stage with the wave of a hand and eye contact. Hearing The Boss pay his respects was beautiful because of the level of appreciation between the two of them, one that most probably never knew existed. I love Bruce’s voice at the most energetic moments of this song too. Chilling.

Damien Escobar – Purple Rain (Violin Cover) – Prince, more than any other musician around, spoke through his performances. His songs told amazing stories. His outfits told amazing stories. But most powerfully, his instruments (every single one he played) spoke to you. That’s what makes this song so powerful. That’s what makes Purple Rain so powerful. Try and separate the words from the music in your head. It’s hard. Which is why Damien Escobar’s inversion, applying the violin to Prince’s vocals, is so beautiful.

The Color Purple Cast – Purple Rain (Broadway) – Thank you Jennfer Hudson for making this happen. Thank you more for stepping back from the opening and turning it over to Cynthia Erivo. Jennifer Hudson oversings early, but she then closes strong. When you think about the timing of the book itself (The Color Purple came on the scene as Prince came into his own, timed perfectly in the early 80’s) and the message behind the book (few books took on sexism and racism as powerfully and vocally — and explicitly as The Color Purple), it makes sense that this cast did this legend justice. Because few musicians did more to combat racism and sexism with their actions, than the Purple One.

Kelly Clarkson – Purple Rain (Fan Request) – Wow. I forget how talented American Idol singers used to be. 🙂 This is beautiful and shows how diverse Prince’s reach is, and it shows how many options there are to make a song work across genres. It’s also a testament to Prince that the greatest song of the 80’s is androgynous, asexual, and pan-racial in its own right. Just like he. Is.

Jimmy Buffet – Purple Rain – Why? Because it’s Jimmy Buffet. The Guardian said it best: “Buffet is famed in the US for purveying the “island escapist” lifestyle to baby boomers. And for owning two restaurant chains named after his songs – Cheeseburger in Paradise and Margaritaville. A peformance of Purple Rain was probably the last thing his fans expected.”

The Waterboys –  Purple Rain (largely, beautifully, acoustic) – Perhaps the most unique version of this song I’ve heard. I learned early on that the power of a song shone through when you stripped it of its production, simplified the arrangement, and sand the heck out of it. This is, that version. Touches me as much as when I heard Springsteen do Born in the USA, acoustic, solo, under a spotlight, at MSG. Mostly because I never thought of this song as being sung this way.

I couldn’t embed the video so this is 2 for 1; click on the link above for a great in studio version, or the one below for an Opera House extended play version. I prefer the one above.

David Gilmour – Purple Rain (with Comfortably Numb) (<<CLICK LINK TO WATCH VIDEO) – Maybe I love the idea of Pink Floyd and Purple Rain because, as a color blind man, I have no idea if they match. But I grew up listening to Pink Floyd. When one of my uncles got his brand new Bose speakers — think of the old school 301’s – we broke them in by laying down on the floor, staring up at the ceiling, and listening to ALL of The Wall. All of it. So when I caught wind of this, union of two songs with choruses that force me to sing at the top of my lungs (even when I’m not singing out loud, you’ll see my eye balls roll up into my head) I had to listen. And … it’s all I expected it to be. The transition in at the 4:30 mark is so subtle it shows you how well, well composed songs can be melded by beautiful musicians.

<No video embed. Please click on the link above.>

Leave a comment

Filed under My $.02, Uncategorized

TMLYFI… | “Never”

My magic. I’m inspired to share this moment with you. I promised myself that after year 1 I’d reduce what I posted out of fear of embarrassing you at some odd point down the line. Digital history from birth is still new to us, and is just becoming a point of debate. So I don’t want to do something you’ll regret.

But today, you made my life (let it be noted that on a daily basis, you tend to do this.) Yet, see, I haven’t seen you in three days. And my exposure has been limited. Partially because you are in Canada on an amazing trip with family. And partially because I am in NY working on work … that maybe I didn’t need to work so hard on.

Your extraordinary mom FaceTimed me this evening and what i saw when I accepted and the screen came to was you, head heavily rested on her shoulder, eyes, debating the world outside and the dreams inside. A hell of a debate, IMHO.

So I looked at you. I said your name. I kissed. I did everything in my power to get a response and you blinked, but nothing more. So I went to our ritual. The words I whisper to you every night since the day you were born. The words that showcase the ends of the earth I will run to for you. That close with the same word. Every single day for the past 18 months and 30 days.

That word? “Never”

And as I have done since you started acknowledging, I leave the last word for you to say. And you did.

With God (your mom) as my witness, you finished our exchange like you would had you have been on my shoulder right here in JC.

“Never.”

You said it. And I know,t hat you know, how much I know, that word means to me. The rest of the world will never know our exchange. But may the know now how it ends.

“Never.”

As in…when I will forget this moment. You are magical, my bbcc. A not so good day, turns into the greatest day ever.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized