Today is Father’s Day.  Don’t worry, I’ve already had my shot of Jack Daniels to honor my padre, at 7 AM too, he would have been proud. Today is Father’s Day and anyone who knows me knows how much I love and appreciate having had Garybdaman as a father for 23 years.  I could go on for days, sharing memories and lessons learned and music and movies and laughter.  My daddy lives on through me and in my heart daily, I don’t need this day to celebrate him.  Every morning I wake up and remember him is a celebration. I’m choosing to honor him by celebrating the women who were most impacted by his life and his loss, my mom and my sisters.  This entry is for them.

bigbwfam

Garybdaman’s influence on us courses through our veins. We all lived in that house, we all got the lectures, we all went to the movies, we all went on the road trips. We all got the playlists, the driving lessons, the lectures.   We all talked about our problems, we all listened to him talk…and talk…and talk. We all got the lectures. I joke, but I see more and more every day how much positive influence my father had on our family in the long run. Whether we wanted to accept it or not, the time he spent talking to us actually prepared us all for life and shaped some of our stronger traits.  I say this because my mother and my sisters are the strongest women I know. Hands down. Rose is the most like him.  She has a simple wisdom, laced with just the right amount of positivity and realness.  She always shoots you straight, knows and accepts who she is and is unapologetic about the fact that pants don’t belong in the household.  Even at a young age, she was tenacious and boy howdy, did I wanna kick her a few times for not playing by my rules, but I appreciate her so much for knowing who she is, what she wants and what she doesn’t want.  She’s Really Rosie, she’s Rosie Real.  She’s quick to fight for what she believes and never hesitates to have an opinion.  Rose is strong, beautiful and innately positive in her outlook on life.  She may be younger than I, but she has taught me so much in the last few years just by fully embracing her Rose-ness.  The level of self acceptance she has at 21 is something Dad didn’t truly achieve until he was close to 50. Thank God, I’m taller than her or else my older sister ego would be bruised by how much I look up to her.

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Now Amber, Amber is so good at so many things, and not so good at a few things.  I admire her for the latter.  Amber has a true curiosity for life and a true beginner’s spirit.  I’ve never met anyone so willing to try everything, from foods, to cultural events, to physical activities.  Now Dad always encouraged us to live our lives to the fullest.  To go away for school, to travel, to go on adventures with our friends because that’s what life was about.  Amber lives this philosophy.  I see her status updates about which new restaurant she tried, which new town she visited on a day trip, which new class she’s taking.  This girl follows through in her curiosities in a way I’ve never seen. She never sacrifices the thrill of learning a new skill out of fear of failure or looking stupid.  She’s confident enough to allow herself time to grow and she takes on new adventures like a wildebeast.  Dad used to do that, but didn’t always have the best track record with the follow through (anyone remember those canoes in the back yard?)  Amber, in all her beauty and wisdom gets things done!  She takes her happiness into her own hands and uses the world as her playground.  She sets an un-ignorable example of taking full advantage of what life has to offer and I love her for it.

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Mama.  Bonnie Fierce. ‘My Mommy is Cooler Than Yours’ is a book I wrote for my mom because it’s true.  She is so cool, so strong, so capable of saving her children when they are in need.  She is a true mama bear and I know that she would cut a b*tch if she had to for us.  I used to think we ruined Mom and Dad’s lives, that we kept them from living their dreams and pursuing something greater in the world, but my mother assured me that wasn’t the case.  Being a parent, an involved, loving, attentive parent can be a difficult yet rewarding job.  My mom did it effortlessly in my opinion. I’ve been talking about Dad’s influence on us and how his hours upon hours of talks helped to make us strong women, but we would be nowhere without Mom.  Mom was the one with the steady income and came to the rescue when Dad’s freelance work wasn’t coming in as frequently.  Money got tight sometimes, but she supported Dad’s artist spirit.  She accepted him and loved him and worked with him as he went from job to job, working for companies and ultimately deciding to go into business for himself.  Success didn’t always come, and she worked hard to support him and us through the tough times.  She didn’t crush his spirit, she worked and kept her faith things would turn around.

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I am very much in the same position my father was in.  I’m an artist.  Translation? I’m broke.  Often.  When I have to ask for rent help, tail between my legs, Bonnie Fierce never gets angry with me.  She supports me.  She encourages me.  She says I’m an investment.  Mom is a rock and as much of an impact my father had on us, I think her impact on him was equally as important.  I couldn’t ask for a better support system, especially since she’s taken on both roles for us.  She always makes us laugh, she’s rarely wearing pants and she’s the coolest.  She’s Bonnie Fierce! Long story short, I love my family.  They are the reason I eventually got out of bed and started living life again.  They are the reason I am who I am.  Without them, I’m nothing. Today is Father’s Day.  Today is family day. Love.

girlfamvegas   daddyniagra

-Princess Padey