Grabbing life by the lapels....

This time last year, I wrote something really special and meaningful for my father: the songs that reminded me of my fondest memories of him. This year, as I contemplated what to say about my awesome father on a day designed just for him, tragedy struck in our family. Yesterday afternoon, my cousin Anthony suffered a major heart attack and passed away. He was only 55 years old, so many years of life left and love to give. 

While Anthony and I shared very few words, the news hit me very hard, especially knowing that my two cousins Nicole and Toni Rose lose out on the opportunity to share their love with their father on this special day....and that my Aunt Annie in a little over a decade has had to bury a husband, all her brothers, and now her son. 

It got me thinking about how precious life truly is. Sometimes we spend all of our time putting off things that we should have done sooner for a later time. We procrastinate, we laze around, and we take those simple moments in life for granted. I'm always trying to remember how many things I have to be grateful for, which is what prompts my playlist for this entry. 

Jenn's Life Playlist:
1) Life - Our Lady Peace
2) Hear You Me - Jimmy Eat World
3) Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
4) Home Again - Carole King
5) Homeward Bound - Simon & Garfunkel
6) Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
7) When We Were Younger - Lakes
8) Memories - Weezer
9) With You In Your Dreams - Hanson
10) The Other Side - David Gray

Life is meaningful, so don't waste or ruin it. Enjoy the lazy Sundays and the crazy-filled days. Take random road-trips or international adventures as much as you can. Dress up for a romantic dinner for no reason or snuggle up on the couch with some ice cream and a good movie. Don't count all the calories, nickels and dimes, or schedule every single detail of your life. Be spontaneous and breathe in everything you can. 

As an added bonus to this entry, I'd like to share a poem by Walt Whitman in honor of Anthony. 

My Departure
by Walt Whitman

Not in a gorgeous hall of pride,
   Mid tears of grief and friendship's sigh,
Would I, when the last hour has come,
   Shake of this crumbling flesh and die.

My bed I would not care to have
   With rich and costly stuffs hung round;
Nor watched with an officious zeal,
   To keep away each jarring sound.

Amidst the thunder crash of war,
   Where hovers Death's ensanguined cloud,
And bright swords flash, and banners fly,
   Above the sickening sights of blood;

Not there—not there, would I lay down
   To sleep with all the firm and brave;
For death in such a scene of strife,
   Is not the death that I do crave.

But when the time for my last look
   Upon this glorious earth should come,
I'd wish the season warm and mild,
   The sun to shine, and flowers bloom.

Just ere the closing of the day,
   My dying couch I then would have
Borne out in the refresing air,
Where sweet shrubs grow and proud trees

The still repose would calm my mind,
   And lofty branches overhead,
Would throw around this grassy bank,
   A cooling and a lovely shade.

At distance through the opening trees,
   A bay by misty vapours curled,
I'd gaze upon, and think the haven
   For which to leave this fleeting world.

To the wide winds I'd yield my soul,
   And die there in that pleasant place,
Looking on water, sun, and hill,
   As on their Maker's very face.

I'd want no human being near
   But at the setting of the sun,
I'd bid adieu to earth, and step
   Down to the Unknown World—alone.


Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there and to my own father, who continues to be the greatest dad in the whole world. I love you, Dad, and I'm grateful I still get the chance to tell you that.

~Jenny Rockstar (aka Honeybunch)

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