Sunday, June 19, 2011

being there…..

A good friend of mine tells me that success begins with just showing up.

My dad has been showing up for me for all of my 53 years.  I went to see him yesterday.  And, I’ll see him again today with my youngest, Alex.

My sister from Florida was there, so was my aunt, my sister from Two Rivers, my mother, and a cousin.  I showed up, sort of arriving in the middle of a female talkfest.

And there, in this scenario, my dad showed up, cane in hand, feeling his way around to his seat at the head of the table.  The house was noisy, making it impossible for him to hear any single conversation.  But, there he was trying, struggling to keep up with the words flying from every direction he couldn’t see.  Much of it just noise to him. 

In this estrogen filled room, I was watching my dad.  I watched him move his head back and forth, trying to figure out where each voice came from and what they were saying.  I watched him toil to remain relevant, to comment when appropriate, to start a new topic because he wasn’t able to follow the last. 

It would have been easier to leave the room and the verbal chaos created by his lack of vision and hearing.  But then, he would have given up.  It would have been easier to listen to one of his two radios flanking his recliner.  But, that’s not him.  It’s not his way.

You see, in spite of all of his maladies, my dad is relevant.  He’s relevant because he tries.  He’s relevant because he’s not a quitter.  He’s relevant because he’s proud.  He’s relevant because he shows up. 

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! 

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