i put the tea on,
and stood at the window.
gazing at the back yard.
taking in the beauty of the snow.
and thinking of my pop.
he would have been 81 today.
wow, that's hard to imagine.
i looked at the snow and smiled.
he was from the north.
didn't mind snow.
as a matter of fact, one of my favorite things about
my parents was that they not only didn't mind rain or snow -
they liked it. they enjoyed it. they went out in it.
i always thought that was cool.
he used to ask for our 'birthday wisdom' on our birthdays.
we were sposed to offer something that we had figured out.
and of course, he always had his ready to go.
and as i recall, with his offerings, there was always a book involved.
we'd reach the end of dinner,
the cake would be brought out.
i think he'd take a bite first,
but it wasn't long before he scooted that chair out
and disappeared into the other room.
if you didn't know any better, you would think he just left.
but no, he was off getting a book he'd read that had something
that had tickled him and he was gonna include that somehow in
his birthday wisdom.
there was much eye rolling and groaning at that point,
but he ignored it and went forward.
if he had to, he'd look up over those big black glasses and
tell you to hush with those dark eyes of his.
he'd wait for the quiet, and then he'd start.
and i smile remembering those moments, so glad that he did.
what would your birthday wisdom be now, dad? i wondered.
goals were always a big topic with him.
setting them, making clear ones, techniques to reach them....
being concise and clear,
thinking thru things,
realizing the importance of your decisions.
they were all big topics with my dad.
i thought of all the things that he focused on while he was alive.
and while i've come to agree with a whole lot of his thinking
and like to incorporate some of those thoughts into my own living -
i'm pretty darn sure if he could come back for an hour,
that's not what he'd be talking about.
and those wouldn't be the things he'd tell me matter.
i poured my tea and sat down.
and asked myself what he might say.
and it came right to me -
life is short, terri.
shorter than you can possibly imagine.
you gotta live it.
and yeah, you gotta fill it with the things that are right for you.
not because of all the fluffy pop psych reasons you've heard about -
but because living what's right for you leads you into becoming you.
and in that becoming you touch what matters.
you don't need to get hung up in the rules.
toss the rules away.
and then he'd pause for effect.
because he'd know that'd make me fall outta my chair.
he was a pretty big rule follower.
and certainly wasn't into talking about finding yourself
or becoming you, or touching what matters.
toss the rules away,
and live with all you've got.
walk into who you are and stay there.
and be kind.
thru it all, be kind to yourself and those around you.
love in every way you can.
cause, yeah, it turns out it really is all about living and loving.
i sat there for a bit trying to figure out if that's what i really think
i think maybe so.
maybe not quite the same words....
but i'm thinking close to those thoughts......
sitting there thinking about it all,
i lifted my tea and toasted him.
here's to you, dad.