The relationship with my father when he was alive was complicated. At the very end when we told him he was going to be a grandfather I think I spotted a sparkle in his eye that I interpreted as hope. Wish he was here today…so we could talk a while. Maybe I
While cleaning out his garage Hugo found an old poem his High School teacher assigned in the last days of Senior year. It made little sense to him then but twenty years later he’s lived a life and the puzzle pieces are starting to make sense. Hugo reads the poem and shares his thoughts on the importance of listening to the wisdom of elders and why we need to truly listen to each other more.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
Other than my receding hairline I possess very few physical reminders of my father. Today I noticed a large tear and missing buttons from his olde peat coat and panicked. I
At the end of my days I hope I won’t become that guy that says “I told you so.”
Instead I want to have grown up to be the man who was known for kindness, his long stories, his laughter and an open mind. I want to go knowing that I shared all the wine with my friends during the good times and bad. That I helped realize bright and realized children who will make their mark. I’d like to leave knowing that I brought many more smiles to my wife’s face then tears down her cheeks.
Then I would like to go back to the dust from which I came.
Hugo rambles about the Morning School Drop Off routine. Kids not liking the movies classics, chickens and trip planning. Part 1 of two because Hugo is not very good with technology and such.
The kid sank deeper into the back seat with worry. At the wheel, the father was making wild gestures with his face and the most rapid articulations with his arms. There was sincere pleading from the concerned tyke but they were being ignored. The other more experienced kid in the passenger seat sat in resolved silence. “This will pass like it always does” he muttered to himself. Finally at the drop off the younger kiddo fumbled fast to unlock the backdoor and escape to her campus and away from the mad-energy.
To outsiders, once the car door opened the deafening beat of Bruno Mar’s Locked Out of Heaven wailed out and the dad inside kept on Car-Dancing with Muppet like precision.
The child still within the vehicle and the one that had escaped exchanged glances…first a glare then pity.
Hippie!!! My oldest had weaseled himself from getting a haircut for months and was way overdue for some styling. He
I never as a kid…wore my pajamas to school, have a class for just puzzles, taken out of school for In-N-Out hamburgers w/mates, have Subway subs with my teacher at lunch time, have Santa as a super-close friend of the family, walked in a parade with my school, have a DJ play tunes during my lunch hour…had my dad record all his observations for me to read and roll my eyes at years later.
My pop was inherently uncool. He spoke in broken English. His pompadour-like hair hadn’t be “in” for a while. His belts were gaudy. He didn’t trust video games, news magazines and East LA neighbours that claimed to not speak Spanish. He didn’t shoot hoops but would speak endlessly about when he played front
“Got it” his yelp trailed off as the passenger side door closed shut behind him. I sat there a moment watching him walk away and thinking that my own father would not have let me get away with that flip of a good-bye.
My parents were different though and each morning at drop off or each night at bedtime we had to tell our parents we loved them whether we felt like it or not. I recall countless times when I kissed my dad on the forehead before going to bed while seething inside about his latest trespass I had perceived. I recoiled when my mother demanded that I give her a good-bye hug the morning after she had told me she wasn’t going to pay for brand name sneakers. I didn’t care for those moments. Now here I was, limp in my seat questioning whether I should demand the “I love you too” I feel I have earned. The light honk behind snapped me out my pity party and I drove away from the Middle School.
A cup of freshly brewed coffee waited for me at home…it would certainly perk my spirits.