When I’m No Longer Here

Today is my dad’s birthday. I was going to say “Today was my dad’s birthday,” since he is no longer living, but I think your birthday is always in the present tense, even if you are no longer around to acknowledge it.

I think about my dad a lot. Mindy Kaling, regarding her mother’s death in an interview with Marie Claire shared,

“I always am experiencing her loss. But the way I’m experiencing her loss now, the focus changes as it gets further and further away. I can now remember, not as much the times when she was sick and dying, but the lessons I learned from her when she was young and healthy.”

I feel that way about my dad. Growing up he would say the same things over and over again–life lessons that he hoped would be so ingrained in us that we wouldn’t be left wondering what to do when life came at us unexpectedly. “You’re gonna remember this when I’m no longer here,” he’d say, as I’d quietly sigh and roll my eyes when I thought he wasn’t looking (he was). And he was right. I do remember, both the wise and the unhelpful, and so I share a few of these unsolicited snippets with you. Do with them what you wish. *cue eye rolls*

Every action has a reaction.

When someone loses someone, just say “I’m sorry.” Anything else you say to try and be helpful won’t be.

Don’t let anybody drive your car.

Always be the best that you can be. There’s always going to be someone better than you, but you be the best you can be.

Don’t be a sore loser.

If you don’t know something, say so.

Take responsibility for your actions. If you want someone to blame look in the mirror.

Happy birthday, dad.

Radio Puente

A few months ago Josué and I drove down to Mexicali for a night to see one of our favorite artists, Alex Ferreira, for his last show in his acoustic concert tour. Unrelated, Josué had been toying with the idea of starting a podcast for a while, but wasn’t sure what to make it about. He finally decided that a music podcast made the most sense for him, and a month later he started Radio Puente, a podcast where he shares music from the Latin Alternative genre.

He covered Alex in the first episode, and around that same time, Alex announced his new upcoming album, “En Lo Que Llega La Primavera,” and that he would release one track each week until the album release on March 11th. Josué thought it would be fun to cover each song on the podcast, and invited me to join him. I felt a little unworthy to be discussing music in-depth, but it ended up being a lot of fun, and Alex himself even listened to the episodes!

Fast forward a few months later, and this week we had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Alex for an interview. When Josué first started this podcast, he made a mental list of artists he would love to interview if ever given the opportunity, and Alex Ferreira was at the top of the list. You can listen to the interview on Spotify now.

Thank you Alex Ferreira for your time and your music, and thank you Radio Puente for sharing amazing artists in the Latin Alternative genre with us.

Thanksgiving

When a parent dies you’re left feeling a little off kilter. That’s one less person in the world who loves you unconditionally. You only have one parent now. It’s different for everyone, obviously, but that’s how I feel. Like the world around me is now off balance.
I was sick a few weeks ago, like classic Rachel-stop-being-dramatic sick, and therefore really missing my dad. I always felt most loved by my dad when I was sick or hurting.
I could feel his worry for me resonating off of him. You don’t ever want your parents to worry about you, but you can feel their love when they do. He’d hover at my door, quietly checking in on me, and if he did speak, it was always gently.
dad-rachel
This was Thanksgiving last year, and the last photo we ever took together. He was getting ready to leave, when we remembered that we hadn’t taken any photos all night, all of us knowing that it would likely be our last holiday all together. I had left my shoes upstairs. Stella lingered behind us.
Thanksgiving’s always been my favorite.