A Story of Dad and Rebirth 🌹

 In Blog

My dad was my hero – a larger than life character who dreamed, lived and loved BIG. He brought play and adventure into a deprived chapter of my life that needed his magic.

When my parents split up, my mom moved us from New Orleans, across the country in a bus called the Mars Hotel to a strict vegan hippie commune in California. The very moment the bus rolled out of the Big Easy, my father became like a rock star to me. As we traveled further West, each day, I longed for our eventual glorious father/daughter reunion, while staring out the back window singing Hopelessly Devoted.

The brightest memories of my early years always center around my dad. Once during Christmas, he dressed up as Santa Claus to pick up my brother and me at the Louis Armstrong airport. When he’d visit the California commune, he’d arrive in a shiny black Cadillac and fish tail into the dirt driveway as he parked, bringing smuggled goods and forbidden foods like French bread (once we ate 8 loaves between the 3 of us). He might whisk us away to Disney World…or take us to Paris and Rome, expanding our young minds with the beauty and the richness that comes from exposure to cultural diversity.

While I wish I could say this story ends Happily Ever After, like most great dramatic tales of love, the plot thickened with heavy heartbreak. There are many devastating details to my dad’s battle with drug addiction, but ultimately his bright candle burned out just before his 45 th birthday.

Losing him brought deeper pain than I could imagine, and I’m still sorting through the emotional and mental mess left behind. But after years of excruciating inner recovery, I’ve slowly put the shattered pieces together and am grateful for the essential growth that comes with healing. I now see the whole story, which includes the broken human behind the hero.

And yet the ongoing grief continues to motivate me to dream big, seek truth,
excel and strive for excellence.

He ran his restaurant with this philosophy: Exceptional quality at an affordable price – a high standard I have adopted for my own business. Since he couldn’t complete his precious life or share his incredible gifts, I am doing my best to build upon his legacy.

 

Exceptional quality at an affordable price – a high standard I have adopted for my own business.

Father’s Day always inspires memories of my dad, and reminds me that reparation takes place over time and with patience. At the time of his death, my faith in everything was shattered. Yet slowly, dreams have unfolded and trust restored through love and hard work.

Many of us have been rattled recently by a rapidly changing environment, horrific injustice, escalating violence, and people across the world undergoing overwhelming hardships.  New perplexing realities present themselves everyday, many of which are hard on our heads and hearts.

Great breakthroughs, internally and externally, often begin with breakdowns, heartbreaks and outrage. This newfound challenging chapter could ultimately deliver much needed positive change. Hard times and seemingly insurmountable challenges often bring the big lessons and the drive to evolve into something greater.

I hope this tense and tender time will bring more meaning to our lives, with increased communal warmth and wellness, and give birth to new levels of compassion and awareness. And I hope the contained time quarantine will help slow down the frenzied pace of contemporary life. During even the toughest times, positive opportunities arise. In that case, darkness can be like a cocoon, from which we eventually emerge ready to fly.

Thank you dearly for supporting me during this time with your lotion love, reviews, likes/comments, and for being part of this Essential community. I wish you and your loved ones continued strength and much love.

 

Please enjoy 10% off + free shipping on all purchases from now until Father’s Day. *Excludes Moisture Replenish program. Use coupon code DAD at checkout.

 

P.S. I love reading your comments. Please share below your thoughts about this article or share your very own father’s day story.

Showing 49 comments
  • Sarah Taylor
    Reply

    What a beautiful post. I can feel your love for your dad in this. Thank you for sharing with us your heart and your life of gained wisdom. xo

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you so much Sarah Chip 💛💛

  • Kristy Williams
    Reply

    Dear Adele, thank you for sharing a part of your life inregards to your father. You are a beautiful soul inside and out and an exquisite writer. My Father passed away this past December. He too was larger than life. Traditional but very unconventional . He was a writer and travel the world while working in the music industry. My parents divorced when I was 12 and my brother and I stayed in San Bernardino and live with our mother while my dad moved to Los Angeles to live out a rock ‘n’ roll life which also included drugs .
    Fortunately he was able to quit when he became heavily involved in the TM movement.
    My husband died a few years ago as a result of mental illness and severe substance abuse. He looked like Robin Williams and often was mistaken for him and he had that fast quick sense of humor but without the zaniness.
    And now the losses keep piling up for the entire world due to civil unrest and COVID-19 . More than ever to help prevent a more deep decline in our mental/ emotional health, we need to continue reaching out to help our neighbors, be outside, own and nurture plants and garden if you can .
    Seek out mental health providers if you need to.
    And relax by lavishing on your Essential by Adele lotion.
    P.S. I read all the above post , You have a wonderful tribe and I’m glad to be a part of it . Kristy

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Kristy, thank you so much for sharing about your father and everything else. What a rich life. Sounds like our dads would’ve gotten along great! 😉 I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. What a great loss 💛 And yes, more than ever there needs to be more resources for mental health support. So grateful to have you part of this tribe! x

  • Kristy Williams
    Reply

    Dear Adele, you are a beautiful spirit inside and out.
    Thank you for your share a part of your early life of that with your father

  • Ginny
    Reply

    Beautifully expressed. Loved seeing these old photos..precious. Much love.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Much love to you too Ginny 🙂 x

  • Cathy
    Reply

    Dear Adele,

    I am not one who usually posts a comment yet felt drawn to do so after reading your heartfelt story. Father’s have such
    a big impact in all our lives. My own father was not very loving or kind and it greatly hurt me. I realized as an an adult he never experienced love as a child and therefore did not have any to share with me. Felt so sad for him and feel I could say it has made me a very loving and caring person. Even with a bad situation something good can come from it. Wish you could have had more good memories with your dad but you have progressed through it and are more beautiful for it. Thank you for sharing your story and the encouragement for today’s world. You are an amazing lady filled with light and love 💗
    In addition, I am one of Sophie Uliano’s tribe and cannot say enough how much I love Essentiel lotion!!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Dear Cathy, thank you so much for sharing about your relationship with your father. I can imagine how difficult it would be growing up with a dad who was not very loving or kind, and it’s a testament to you that you’re aware of where that wound came from. And yes, how wonderful that it made YOU extra loving. What a great gift to everyone who knows you. I feel grateful already to have connected with you.
      And I’m THRILLED that you love the lotion! Sophie is the best xx

  • Lynn Newman
    Reply

    Your healing, growth, hard work, determination and commitment to yourself and your business is so commendable Adele! It is such a joy to see Essential by Adele thrive and even more to see you FLY over the years!! Much love! I so appreciate all that you do:) xo Lynn

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Your support and love means so much to me Lynn, thank you!! x

  • Christine Williams
    Reply

    Beautiful. As always. Love you😘😘😘

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Love you too Christine! 💛💛

  • Dawn
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read Dawn! 💛

  • Andy Paluselli
    Reply

    Dear Adele. You always pour your heart and soul into every email you send. In a world where no one reads full emails anymore I know how frustrating that can be. I will always read your emails, texts and letters that you send word for word so I can drink in all of your wisdom and compassion. I never want to miss a a valuable tidbit that you may share. I loved reading your story about your dad. I read it aloud to Herman at breakfast this morning. It is a wonderful offering in remembrance of him. Thank you for your final thoughts; working in positive and caring words during this time of uncertainty. You are a gem and a joy in our lives and we are grateful for your love and compassion. XO, Andy & Herman

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Andy, you always make my heart SING (sometimes literally) with your kindness, support and love. You and Herman are gems in my life too! So grateful. Love you both!! x

  • Clare
    Reply

    What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. It’s nice that you have such fond memories. I’m sure he’s watching you from heaven and smiling. I’m blessed to still have my dad. I lost my mom two years ago. Thanks again for sharing and I love the lotion. It brings me instant peace. 🙂

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Clare it makes me so happy to hear your kind comment and to know the lotion brings you peace!! Thanks so much for sharing 💛

  • Mark Uddo
    Reply

    Really sweet Deli! Peter was more of a father to me than my own and instilled in me a passion and love for family, culture, community, work, humor and adventure. Father’s Day is bittersweet for the both of us. But my fondest memories of your Dad will continue forever in this world and the next! Blessings and love to you always Deli!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Beautiful! I’m so glad he was there for you like a father. You both had a sacred bond and he adored you. Like I do! 💛

  • Tara
    Reply

    I love your writing and hearing about your dad so much. I loved my dad so deeply too. Lots of love, T

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you and lots of love back to you Tara! xx

  • Monica Garnache
    Reply

    Hi Adele, thank you for your inspiring words! Yes this is a difficult time for many people and I have also been saying recently that I truly hope there will be a silver lining to everyone suffering in all this chaos. I also appreciate you sharing about your father and how his journey has inspired yours. If we can take the grief from the loss of our parents and turn it into a worthy legacy then that too becomes a silver lining. Much love from Oregon, xoxo Monica

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      That’s beautiful Monica, love that! Yes, there was a lot of heartbreak along the way…but the legacy we leave of love IS the silver lining. Love you! 💛

  • Anya
    Reply

    ♥️

  • Tanya
    Reply

    Loved every word. What a treat Adele to read about your Dad and your earliest life. I don’t remember if I ever met him but I remember the commune of course! Big fat Italian love to you!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Big fat Italian love back to you Tanya! And yes, the commune is hard to forget lol 😉

  • Rachel
    Reply

    Thank you, Adele, for sharing this beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your Dad. What an amazing job you’ve done honoring his legacy in both your life and with Essentiel! Your observation that “Hard times and seemingly insurmountable challenges often bring the big lessons and the drive to evolve into something greater.” really resonates with with me. I hope that the recent challenges we have all been facing bring us to a better place, both individually and collectively. Sending love and light!

  • Alla
    Reply

    Adele my LUV, thank you for sharing your truth! Your personal story & vulnerability move me to the core. I deeply respect when strength & sensitivity mirror each other. It binds our Souls & serves as a reminder that we are all on this healing journey together seeking real connection & true understanding.
    You are a gorgeous person! Please continue writing, your song must to be heard❤️

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      As always, I LUV you and what you share with me. Thank you for your encouragements, friendship and love. I could say ditto back to everything! x

  • Benedicte Partin
    Reply

    As I gave my mother bottles of your lotion for Christmas and also Mother’s Day, I love how you have shared your own stories with us. Your honesty and strength is equaled by your products, I have no doubt that your father is proud of you. Thank you for sharing who you are, and for the integrity behind what you do.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Benedicte I’ve got tears in my eyes reading your kind comment 💛 Thank you so very much. I’m so grateful you’re a part of this community and sincerely appreciate your support. Please tell your mom she raised a beautiful daughter x

  • Cece
    Reply

    Dear Adele,

    You are courageous and strong…..I love the beautifully written testament of shared love between you and your Father. Thank you for all of the reminders of what is important and how we may manifest the positives from deep challenges. Love to you.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Cece you are the best 💛 This message warms my heart. Thank you for that reflection. Love to you! x

  • Stacy Burka
    Reply

    What a touching memory – I really wish I could have met you father (we would have gotten along famously) Love you
    SB

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Yes you would have gotten along famously! 😉

  • Tina
    Reply

    Adele, such a beautiful tribute and you’ve done the hard work of surviving. I’d love to chat with you about a new Buyers’Club on the web. I’m wondering if you could become a vendor for them. If you’re interested please let me know a good time to reach you and I will fill you in. Namaste, Tina Chappel

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you so much dear Tina 💛 And I appreciate you thinking of me for Essentiel buyer’s club! I’ll email you manana 🙂

  • Paul
    Reply

    Heartfelt and meaningful. You (Essentiel by Adele) represent the heart and soul of our community.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Bless you Paul 💛 So grateful YOU are part of this community!

  • Nancy
    Reply

    This is such a heartfelt and tragic story and I so appreciate that I was around to meet and hang out with your dad some when he would come visit California. He left strong, fun-filled memories with my son too who got to be part of some of the wild antics your dad provided on his trips. Grief has been such a driving force in my life too which always makes me feel closer to you. Bravo for your sharing!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Love you Nance! Always appreciate hearing from you especially when you share these special memories 💛

  • Joy Eigher
    Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this. I remember your dad as your Aunt Elay’s little brother, but I didn’t know much about his young adult life except that we saw him at Riverbend when we ate there (which was often).
    You write beautifully and should consider writing more about your fascinating life.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you so much Joy 🙏💛 I’ve thought about writing a book – just need more hours in the day! 😉 Glad you got to eat at Riverbend.

  • J
    Reply

    I love this post. It’s similar to the story w my grandfather, also a larger than life character who taught me to love travel and fashion. But also made huge mistakes too. It all goes back to the idea of understanding all sides of every story. And especially in a time like now, we NEED that.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Amen! That’s beautifully said. Yes, there are MANY parts of each person…and sides of every story. And yes, we do need more of that understanding nowadays 💛

  • Lina
    Reply

    Beautiful! I lost my dad @ 55 & he would be 82 now…..miss him everyday, but have such fond memories….I have an Angel 😇 to watch over me now…we looked a lot alike, as you & your daddy do 😘

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      That’s beautiful Lina 💛 I’m sure he’s a proud angel too 🙂 I used to be told all the time that I looked like my dad when I was little – it’s nice to be told that as an adult too.

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