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> Back Again...., (Death in the family)
derper
post Oct 31 2012, 09:37 PM
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I've been "away" for about a month now, but am back and ready to get my chops back up.

Unfortunately, on Oct 15th my father, who was suffering from severe cluster headaches (more severe than migranes), took his own life to escape the pain. He had tried everything, and had been going to doctors for decades in an attempt to ditch the headaches.

I got to see him this August for my wedding. My father and I were VERY close. He was my best friend, my mentor, and my introduction to music. At his house, you'd never catch the TV just "on", but he was always playing music. From Bob Marley, to Jimi Hendrix, and Zappa to Jazz.....he loved it all. His cd collection is up to 1000+.

When I was about 5, I would teach myself the melody lines to songs like "frosty the snowman", and wait until he got home to play them for him. He was astounded that I could teach myself melody lines by ear, and memorize and play them back to him. That's when he got me my first guitar, and put me in (crappy) lessons to get me started.

My dad ALWAYS loved me, and ALWAYS told me how proud he was of me. I tried not to take that for granted, but it was hard because he always supported me. He would give me "advice", rather than tell me what to do, and he would trust me enough to let me make my own mistakes.

When I was getting bullied in kindergarted, he taught me how to fight. Then, he taught me how and when to use it. He told me that he trusted my judgment, but warned me NEVER to get caught BEING the bully. With his advice, the next day, I warned my big bully not to touch me anymore "or else"..... he kept at it, and I dropped that big guy with one punch!!! "What'd you do THAT for?!" he asked, through tears, as I looked at my own clenched fist with a new-found respect for the man that taught me how to defend myself.

He taught me to respect women, and fight for what is good. He taught me the importance of a firm handshake, and being on-time.

He was always there for others. Giving, even when he had little, he would help those in need within his community. His selflessness was a reminder to others. Though I am not religious, he "walked the walk" while many around him simply "talked the talk".

I cannot describe the shock. The emptiness. Sometimes I'm "ok" and I think everything will be alright....other times, I just want to cry until my eyes explode and burn everything and everyone down around me. Regardless, I can't change a thing.... and that's probably good, because if it were up to me I would give damn near anything to have him back.


And, not surprisingly, I haven't practiced much this month. Just enough to keep up with my projects, really. I could tell that my hand strength "backslid" quite a bit, when I played a show with EMULATOR this last saturday. Luckily, I still played an excellent show despite being a bit less "technically apt" at this point. In fact, it seems as if the only time my spirit lifts completely, is when I'm playing music. Almost all other times, it feels "awkward" to smile anymore....but being on stage (in a Mario costume, with finger mounted led light beams) really gave me a chance to transcend my current reality for a bit.


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To the man who gave me music, and my first Nintendo!! Alfredo Rodriguez Jr. (far left, Lucy Rodriguez my stepmother, Claire my wife, and myself Gabriel/"Derper") I will never forget you. But now, it's time for me to move on and get my chops up again......because this weak hand of mine is starting to frustrate me!


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GregH
post Nov 1 2012, 07:28 AM
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I am sorry for your loss.
That's big a loss will take some time to come to terms with (one doesn't really get over it).
Your absence here has been noticed. I am glad that you are back.
Greg
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 1 2012, 09:50 AM
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Gabriel, I noticed your post on FB when this happened but since you said 'no messages allowed' I didn't want to intrude. I am sorry for your loss, but I am glad you had such an amazing dad by your side!

Take care man and welcome back!

Cosmin


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Bossie
post Nov 1 2012, 12:23 PM
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Sad to hear ...cherish the many memories of him!
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derper
post Nov 1 2012, 08:02 PM
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Thanks Coz. Yeah, I think I may have confused some people with that.... I just didn't want people to feel like they needed to say something, but looking back it seems that I forced many to hold their tongue when they really wanted to send their love. Anyway, it is surely appreciated.


But it really felt GREAT to whip out the metronome, and drill for hours until I could finally start to feel my timing and picking come "back" to me.


QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 1 2012, 01:50 AM) *
Gabriel, I noticed your post on FB when this happened but since you said 'no messages allowed' I didn't want to intrude. I am sorry for your loss, but I am glad you had such an amazing dad by your side!

Take care man and welcome back!

Cosmin



And thanks to all here at GMC. It's great to be back. I almost didn't want to share this here, but it was somewhat therapeutic to type a bit out and spill my guts here to you all. Thanks for the support, and understanding.


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Check out my awesome Nintendo Cover-band, EMULATOR!!
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Now.....go practice!!
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VilleFIN
post Nov 1 2012, 08:11 PM
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Man that text put tear in my eye. I hope you all the best !!


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HungryForHeaven
post Nov 1 2012, 08:44 PM
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Derper, I probably can't even imagine what such a thing feels like. However, it gladdens me that you seem rational enough to move on and just let time do its thing. I wish all the best for you and your wife!

H
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derper
post Nov 2 2012, 12:07 AM
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Thanks. I'm trying to stay positive, and move forward. I've worked too hard, and come too far to let myself turn into the drunk, depressed mess that I would have surely been if this had happened 10 yrs ago. But it's not easy. Some days I'm "fine", and others I feel pure sadness mixed with anger for all things.

And, at least, I got to see him and spend time with him again. He got to see my band (Planet Jackers) play a live show his last night here as well. First time he had seen me play a "real" show since I moved to Portland 6 yrs ago, since he lived in Tampa. I am thankful for that time to say "goodbye", even though neither of us knew it at the time.

QUOTE (HungryForHeaven @ Nov 1 2012, 12:44 PM) *
Derper, I probably can't even imagine what such a thing feels like. However, it gladdens me that you seem rational enough to move on and just let time do its thing. I wish all the best for you and your wife!

H



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Check out my awesome Nintendo Cover-band, EMULATOR!!
http://www.reverbnation.com/emulator

Now.....go practice!!
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thefireball
post Nov 2 2012, 03:39 AM
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I am sorry. I feel moved deep within me. I do pray you and your family and friends get through this. God is here.


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 2 2012, 10:10 AM
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Gabe, I was incredibly sorry to read about your father. Like Cosmin, I saw this on Facebook but didn't want to just add a lame sounding comment. He sounds like he was an excellent guy which is something that can never be taken away and will never change smile.gif

Glad to have you back !


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PosterBoy
post Nov 3 2012, 08:23 AM
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Sorry to hear the news Derper, luckily music is a great way to help get through times like this, especially as your Dad was responsible for introducing you to it and your gift with it.


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 3 2012, 04:22 PM
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I'm truly saddened to hear about the loss of your father. As someone who suffers chronic pain, ( multiple spine fractures, etc.) I can really empathize with what you father had to go through at least on some level. I've had quite a bit of counseling over the years after various wreck where I was warned about the cycle of pain/depression/thoughts of suicide. I was really lucky to have fallen in love with guitar as it provides me a way out of the pain. When I'm practicing, I can get to a zen state where I don't notice pain/time/ etc. But without it, when not playing, it can get rough.

None of that compares with the loss of one Father, just wanted to share and express my sympathies for this tragic loss. My folks are not in great health and I've considered what it will be like after they are gone. It will be hard. We, your GMC family, are here for you.

Todd


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Dieterle
post Nov 4 2012, 09:24 AM
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Hello Derper ,

and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings here on Board !

Sure this is a good way to let out your emotions and get some Relief for yourself

and good to hear that you keep on going Your Way !

For me i found it wonderful to get knowledge about your father how he was as a human being

a men full of love and given it to others .

- if every man would be like this - this world would be a much better one !

Part of his Spirit is in with you a beautiful root you should always remember and sometimes listen to it quietly within your heart ,
on the way to Yourself !


I wish you and your family and friends a lot of Love !

Dieter



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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 4 2012, 01:50 PM
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Hope things are well with you derp and on a happier note, I just pressed the 'Like' button on your Mario pic on FB smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 6 2012, 12:05 AM
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I'm so sorry about this mate. Nice words about him. He has been a great father and friend. smile.gif


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Sinisa Cekic
post Nov 6 2012, 03:36 AM
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Sorry to hear that . Stay well man !


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derper
post Nov 6 2012, 07:53 PM
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Thanks again, to all.

Still doing alright....some days, better than others. When I can stay "logical", I know that everything is ok and that I should just be thankful for the time I have, and move forward in a positive way.

Other days, the emotions kick in. Usually when I'm having a "bad day" (which have seemed to alternate "good day/bad day/good day/bad day" for the last month) I start to think about things more. Then, on the drive home from work I let things get to me a bit too much.

But, I'm trying to be positive and make positive changes moving forward. For example, I'm going to start (right now!) using a kettlebell to work out at work. I've heard great things about them, and that it will help guitarists to maintain hand strength. Right now, I feel that I dedicate too much practice time to simply "maintaining" decent hand strength. If I worked out AT ALL, perhaps the strength would maintain more OUTSIDE of practice, allowing me to focus time on other things.

That, and I decided to cut back on drinking. Sure, as Will Ferrell says in Old School "Once it hits your lips, it just tastes so good!" but for me, right now, I could benefit from cutting back.


--------------------



Check out my awesome Nintendo Cover-band, EMULATOR!!
http://www.reverbnation.com/emulator

Now.....go practice!!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 6 2012, 10:35 PM
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QUOTE (derper @ Nov 6 2012, 06:53 PM) *
Thanks again, to all.

Still doing alright....some days, better than others. When I can stay "logical", I know that everything is ok and that I should just be thankful for the time I have, and move forward in a positive way.

Other days, the emotions kick in. Usually when I'm having a "bad day" (which have seemed to alternate "good day/bad day/good day/bad day" for the last month) I start to think about things more. Then, on the drive home from work I let things get to me a bit too much.

But, I'm trying to be positive and make positive changes moving forward. For example, I'm going to start (right now!) using a kettlebell to work out at work. I've heard great things about them, and that it will help guitarists to maintain hand strength. Right now, I feel that I dedicate too much practice time to simply "maintaining" decent hand strength. If I worked out AT ALL, perhaps the strength would maintain more OUTSIDE of practice, allowing me to focus time on other things.

That, and I decided to cut back on drinking. Sure, as Will Ferrell says in Old School "Once it hits your lips, it just tastes so good!" but for me, right now, I could benefit from cutting back.


Gabe, drinking as a way to evade things is not a solution. Having a glass of red wine alongside an awesome piece of French cheese, with your wife is the thing! If you guys like French cheese smile.gif Stay strong my friend!


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 7 2012, 09:39 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 6 2012, 09:35 PM) *
Gabe, drinking as a way to evade things is not a solution. Having a glass of red wine alongside an awesome piece of French cheese, with your wife is the thing! If you guys like French cheese smile.gif Stay strong my friend!


I'll tell you guys the best thing that helped me not drink so much... not being able to afford any ! wink.gif

There is absolutely no chance of having any that way.. an enforced lay off. Do you know what ? I don't miss it either !


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DeGroot
post Nov 7 2012, 06:58 PM
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Hey man, I just wanted to offer my sincere condolences. I'm glad to see you back at GMC.

I joined GMC around a tragic point in my life. GMC and getting back into guitar playing has been a therapeutic experience for me. Plus it keeps us all out of trouble. cool.gif





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