Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tomorrow, 10:00am PST Funeral

Here is what I'm reading. I'm not happy with it but I've reworked it so many times I could pull my hair out so enough, is, enough. (It's written out in bullets with comma's for spacing, etc. so it's easier for me to read.)

Here goes, see you in a couple of days:

My father was unique, complex and his memory will never be erased from my mind. I love, adore and admire him.

In many ways, he was my role model.

It’s only become apparent to me in the past two weeks, after talking to many who knew my dad, that he didn’t talk much of his rather remarkable life.

Many did not know my dad had a 40-year career in radio and television and was a talented and gifted photographer, actor, vocalist, producer, and director.

In his career my dad worked with and interviewed people such as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gore Vidal, Timothy Leary, Frank Zappa, Alfred Hitchcock and rock and roll groups like the Monkee's and even the Beatles.

Dad even pioneered the satellite architecture that was responsible for the Live Aid Concert in 1985...

And later was also instrumental in Farm Aid I and II, and the live broadcast of Comic Relief.

While lots of kids have the opportunity to occasionally go to work with their dad, not many dads worked at a television studio filled with celebrities.

My dad never missed an opportunity to take me out of school and take me to work with him when someone particularly famous was going to be in the studio.

When I was in 6th grade the Beatles had come to Boston on a world tour and dad took me along when he went to their hotel room to get an interview.

Now remember, this is at a time when just a photograph of “A Beatle” would make young girls scream and grown women faint.

Just to touch or meet someone who met a Beatle, was almost more than a young fans heart could take.

I remember everything about that day from exactly what I wore to what I ate for breakfast and from the moment my dad pinned a Press Pass on me, people began to scream and grab at us.

Dad was pulling me through this huge, overwhelming crowd, never letting go of my hand for a second, least I be swallowed up in a vast sea of screaming fans.

Every once in a while he would look back at me, smile this big grin and wink.

I could tell from the look on his face…..

…what was exciting to my Dad was not meeting the Beatles…

…what was exciting to him was taking ME to meet the Beatles.

Another thing I’ll bet many of you don’t know is my dad LOVED Science Fiction. One of my favorite memories as a young child is my dad letting me stay up very late on Friday nights to watch Creature Features with him. I will never watch a movie with Martians, aliens or haunted houses in it without thinking of Friday nights up late with my dad and a big bowl of popcorn.

When we lived in Boston my dad built a sailboat in the garage and on a little lake in Holliston, Massachusetts, taught me to sail. Well, actually he first taught me how to swim as our initial adventure ended up in a capsized boat and a rescue, but later in life I shared that love of sailing and the love of water with my kids as we sailed to just about every island in the Caribbean.

My dad was not only a gifted performer, earning the lead role in just about every community theater play and musical he ever tried out for, he was also the greatest audience a performer could ever want. He wasn’t an “easy audience” but if you were “good” he let you know it.

The very first time I performed stand-up comedy was at Igby’s, in West Los Angeles.

I was so nervous before I went on that night but it wasn’t the performance or the standing room only crowd I was so nervous about.

What I was really nervous about was, “Will I be able to make my dad laugh?”

Although I knew beforehand he would be in the audience I had no idea of where he was sitting until I told my first joke.

Not only did I instantly know where my Dad was sitting from his distinctive laugh, I knew I was a success. I couldn’t fail.

His laugh was leading the crowd and when he laughed, everyone laughed.

He was the greatest audience a comedian could ever want.

I’ve thought a lot these past two weeks about what I’ll miss the most about him and the list is far too long to recite..

The thought that I’ll never again hear my dad say “Honey, I’m proud of you” is almost unbearable.

But for now, the memories must endure.

Most of us, perhaps all of us, have our own heroes, champions, our own personal hall of fame. I do, and at the top of my list is my dad.

My hero wasn’t perfect.

He was not a saint.

He wasn’t there to pick me up every time I fell

He didn’t soothe me every time I hurt and he was sometimes missing when my life was falling apart.

But, the time came when we realized we were not the past and I knew in my heart how much he really cared.

Good-bye for now. I miss you more than I can put into words.

You will be remembered and loved, always and forever.

Take care Dad,

God Bless you

We’ll be in touch soon.


  • That is a lovely, lovely tribute, Terri. Your Dad would be proud if you.

    By Blogger Jennytc, At 6:17 AM  

  • terri i am 60 years old and my parents are still alive. to tell you the truth after i read your post the tears started. that was very beautiful. your dad would have been proad.

    By Blogger mrhaney, At 5:57 PM  

  • You really know how to make someone cry girl! I replied to your email. Don't worry about reading it or replying, you've got more important things to think about...

    I'm sorry to hear of your dad. I wish these things didn't happen in life. I wish we didn't have to go through the sorrow and the pain.

    I just spent 5 hours writing a dissertation (tell you later) and I thought I'd come in here to catch up, say hi, and send you lots of cyber hugs.

    You're a wonderful person Terri, I can tell your dad created a beatiful daughter, just as he was a great man.

    We're all here for you.


    By Blogger Mari, At 10:54 PM  

  • Terri,

    That was a beautiful post....I really like the way you started it...

    'My father was unique, complex and his memory will never be erased from my mind.'

    That statement sums it all up. I know you sais you didn't 'Like' it, but I 'Love' what you have written for you Dad.

    I know he's smiling down at you....and Yes, you will be in touch with him.

    Hugs to you and your family....


    By Blogger Larry, At 9:00 AM  

  • That was beautiful, and so personal, not the cold impersonal obit you usually see. Great job!

    By Blogger emily, At 7:27 AM  

  • That was beautiful Terri. My only words are, give yourself time to grieve. I found I haven't done that with my Dad, and that was 3 months ago now. My thoughts are with you Terri. hugs, Jenn

    By Blogger Jennefer, At 8:07 AM  

  • wow... I came to your blog by mistake Terri... but I am so glad I did. That was extremely thoughtful and thoughtfelt... a moving tribute. If it's ok with you, I am going to add you to my little list of blogs. When you're up to it, stop by and say hiya. Hugs!

    By Blogger Denny Shane, At 6:22 AM  

  • That is so moving. Don't worry, you're not the only one who cries at the drop of a hat! Maybe we should start a club??!!

    By Blogger Guinevere Meadow, At 6:47 AM  

  • I lost my Dad over a year and a half ago suddenly, I wish I knew the magic phrase that helped me find peace so that I could share it with you. It was a very lovely tribute.

    By Blogger Branshine, At 2:25 PM  

  • I know you wrote this a long time ago but I just read it and since I just got back from the funeral of my brother-in-law, I have some thoughts I'd like to share.
    My brother-in-law's greatest accomplishment was the raising of his sons- two gorgeous young men who loved and adored him. Their dad was extremely involved in their day-to-day life from the moment of their births and his spirit shines through them and his genes are very much in evidence in them.
    As they spoke at the funeral, I thought about the fact that I, who grew up essentially without a father, certainly did not grieve the way they are grieving when my father died. How could I? His presence in my life was nil.
    Is it harder to lose someone you love so much? Of course.
    But the fact is, my life would have been so different and I would have been such a different woman if I had had a good daddy and I will always grieve THAT fact- that I didn't.
    Anyone who grows up with a father who loves them and shows it and who is a big part of their lives is a lucky person.
    And unfortunately, when that father passes on, there will be a vast emptiness that I doubt anything will ever fill again.
    But what he left behind is even bigger.
    Bless the good fathers.

    By Blogger Ms. Moon, At 7:03 AM  

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