My father-in-law used to say this all the time. He would say this every time he came upon someone who seemed to take a cavalier look at a situation or decision or perhaps looking for a “do-over”. He would say “This is not a dress rehearsal” to emphasize there are few, if any, second chances and this life is not a trial run before your actual life begins. It is not a dress rehearsal. Poppi had some great sayings.
Sadly, we lost my father-in-law this week. He was 81 years old and died unexpectedly, but peacefully in his sleep. I have been thinking about him these past few days and that phrase which he so loved to quote. He was a masterful musician and accompanied many of the great performers on piano. When he played Mozart, it would make you cry. He knew the meaning of dress rehearsal both literally and figuratively.
His voice rings true as I now witness my children embarking on their life journeys. They have made their own decisions and are choosing a path towards a life they would like to live. I have repeated that quote many times to Amelia and Jack hoping they consider all outcomes and ramifications of their decisions. We are works in progress.
Maybe in part Poppi had it wrong. Perhaps our early years actually serve as a dress rehearsal for the time when life settles down into a career, family and future. Maybe the things we do as young people are important for that growth. My father-in-law used to tell me stories about Chip when he was younger; girls he dated, poor decisions he made as a fraternity guy and how he was so proud of the husband and father he had become. Those years of a dress rehearsal prepared Chip for his adult life, the life I am blessed to share. I hope my children have that same experience.
So, here’s to you “Big T”! The curtain is closing, the show is over and there is a standing ovation. Your dress rehearsal prepared you for this day. You will be missed and never forgotten.
Accetta e guardi sopra di noi dal cielo sopra!