I believe the little moments in life can bring the greatest joy.
My dad always tells me that whenever he needs a smile all he has to do is be near me. He says my joy just radiates through me. When I was three years old my dad was diagnosed with two different types of cancer. I never understood what was going on, but I do remember one dreadful night. I woke up to the sound of my mother crying. She was talking on the phone to her sister, but she was crying so hard I could barely make out her words. I only remember one sentence, “He’s lost most of his blood.” I didn’t quite understand what she was talking about, but I knew something horrible was happening.
It hit me in about middle school that I could have grown up without a dad at all. At any moment the cancer could return and take him from me. I learned to dread his annual hospital visits. The saying “live for today because tomorrow may never come” became very real to me. I learned to cherish each and every moment I had with my dad and to make those moments the happiest they could be.
I believe that we should never give up a chance to share our joy with others. Just recently my dad drove my friends and me to Sac N’ Pac to stock up on junk food. We were talking and giggling over one of our random comments, like teenage girls do. As we approached the cash register our favorite song came on over the intercom. Immediately we burst out singing and dancing as if we had no cares in the world. Everyone was staring in disbelief, but my dad couldn’t help but laugh!
My favorite memories are those that I get to be alone with my dad. About a week ago we went to go see a movie together, just the two of us. We accidentally got there an hour early, so we sat in the empty theater with our legs propped up on the seats in front of us. We were singing along with the Mama Mia soundtrack in silly voices. I was trying to sing the guys part and he was trying so hard to sing the girls part but his voice kept cracking. Each time it cracked we laughed even harder than the time before.
When I look back on my life, my fondest memories of my dad will always be the ones when mom would scold us for laughing during church, or when I’d try to teach him a new dance move and he’d practically break his hip trying. If there’s anything I hope I’ve taught my dad, it’s that there’s no such thing as too much laughter.