Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tis the Season...for memories

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.

10 comments:

Fox's Mom said...

WHOA! Scary-I had the very same hair cut-I thought my step-mother were being incredibly cruel at the time; I wish I'd known I was actually stylin'!

Neat blog. I'm 49, and clearly recall the Beatles first visit too. We lived out in Pomona at the time.

Small world.

torontopearl said...

Randi, when I asked to see a photo, I didn't mean a photo from 43 years ago! (I was 1 year old at the time.)

What points of reference the adult mind...or the childish mind can pick from, huh? That carefree seven-year-old's world of wishes and dreams being realized or promised by some jolly old man with a beard is soon jolted into a too-real, yet still unbelievable, world for a ten-year-old...

David_on_the_Lake said...

Hi...
Thanks for pointing me to your blog.
Your Dad gave you 3 1/2 years of childhood.
At 7 you would've been too young to comprehend what was going ..you'd just be plagued by nightmares of illness and death.

Neil said...

Glad to know I'm not the only Jew who has sat on the lap of Santa Claus. Sorry it took me so long to come here. I was shocked to hear you started a blog and I thought you were joking!

Stacey said...

Randi, I am so, so sorry that you lost your father at such a young age to Leukemia (I hate that word). How very sad.

cruisin-mom said...

f.m: Yeah, I hated that haircut too!

T.P: someday you'll see the "present" me!

David: thanks for those thoughts...I think your words make a lot of sense.

Stacey: thanks for your kind words.

PsychoToddler said...

I have a similar picture.

Jack's Shack said...

That was a good post.

cruisin-mom said...

p.t.: okay, let's see that picture

Jack: thanks, glad you liked it!

PsychoToddler said...

It'll have to wait until my next trip to NY