Yep, that's me...it's 1962... I'm 7. I'm a nice Jewish girl, sitting on Santa's lap. I'm bundled up in my jacket with the faux fur hood, because, afterall, this is Los Angeles...and a brisk 75 degrees outside.
When I look at that little girl I think, she looks sweet and content (okay, a ridiculous hairdo for a 7 year old...but it's 1962, what do you expect).
Little did I know that soon, my entire world would come crashing down. It was right about this time that my dad...a handsome, 38 year old elementary school teacher, was diagnosed with what would begin a 3 year battle with Leukemia. My mom and dad (at my dad's request) had decided to tell only a select few about his disease...my brother and I were not one of them. My dad was proud and strong, and didn't want anyone to treat him differently because of his illness. And so began my parents silent struggle to raise 2 children... work, love, and play... waiting for that unknown moment when everything would come tumbling down.
My understanding is, my dad never really faced head on, the fact that he would die from this disease. Perhaps that is why he defeated the odds of 40 years ago, and lived with Leukemia for 31/2 years...unheard of at the time.
When I look at this picture, I vacillate between resentment and contentment. Resentful that... until the day my father died, I had no idea that I would never see him again. Content that...I could be a 7 year old girl, with a goofy hairdo, bundled in a ridiculous coat, sitting on Santa's lap, happy, and sweet...because I had no idea that in just 3 short years, I would never see my dad again.