A Word From Daughter Carrie on Dad's Birthday
Thinking about Dad on his birthday in a memory that continues to have a big impact on me.....
I think I was about 9 and we were on vacation which was unusual. Most trips revolved around a show. But, this time I remember walking out from a very nice hotel - I’m thinking in West Palm Beach. Of course, as a child everything seems fancy and large scale. But back to the story - we were walking out of a large lush garden between two pillars and there were the most beautiful leaves and colorful flowers I have ever seen.
Suddenly, my dad looked up, and together, taking his cue, we spotted the bird in a canopy. Not just an ordinary bird. This is where the shape and colors warrant the word “exotic.” Indeed it was. My dad looked over and spotted a young man pulling errant weeds and debris in the landscaping and asked (Stutter) “young man....(stutter) what kind of bird is that?” pointing to the magnificent creature. The young man, somewhat startled, surprised to be spoken to and without seeming to care said....”I dunno know.” He answered with a half embarrassed smile and shrug of the shoulder. I’m not sure he even said “I don’t know” because we were already moving away with an unsatisfied grunt from my Dad that is - until we weren’t.
Abruptly, we did an about face almost as soon as we moved forward. My dad’s brow was furrowed with disgust although his voice not as much. But it was adamant and a bit incredulous as he spoke .....”I believe if I worked here everyday and saw that amazing bird I would want to know what kind it is. I believe I’d find out.”
We turned and walked away but I could tell it was still on my Dad’s mind for some time. Today someone might insert a mic drop here but this wasn’t about attitude. Not at all. I still feel the weight of that moment and what my dad felt and why he felt it. It was about observation. It was about what you value. It was about taking pride in things. It was about care. It was about rising above. It was about expansion. This lesson - this gift is not lost on me.
So grateful my dad taught me many lessons, this in particular. Happy Birthday to my Dad. I love and miss him greatly.
We all do. So very much. Carrie April