We have incredible red tulips in front of our house and for several days my husband has urged me to pick some to take to my Mom. So today on my way into work I did. My Mom was playing doubles tennis. My Dad had a tennis court built one year when his men needed work. (As a building contractor, he bragged that his men were "laid off" only two weeks in 30 years. If he couldn't line up houses or churches or hospital additions to build, he just built onto our house.)
My Dad was up the hill in the living room, reading.
He said, "I get such joy watching them play. I wish I could be playing, but since I can't, I like to watch your mother play." He sighed. "But when I said that, G. said I shouldn't watch because it makes her nervous." Then he laughed.
We talked for awhile and I was suddenly struck by what a good-looking man my Dad is and I saw myself in the future living without him. Not a particularly happy thought but at that moment, I felt very, very lucky to have him as MY Dad even if I have to share him with 8 other people. We talked about my brother, Vincent's, book, "Happiness in Five Minutes a Day". We discussed another brother's work. He told me again, as he often does, that he is proud of ALL his children.
Then my Dad quoted Helen Keller. He may have been paraphrasing. He said, "The things of goodness and beauty in life cannot be touched or seen but only felt in your heart."
He turned it into a sermon, because that's what my Dad does, but what he quoted is true. And my Dad - and my Mom, too - have always been able to feel goodness and beauty in their hearts.
I am lucky in my parents. As Randy Pausch says about his own parents in his book, "The Last Lecture", I won the parent lottery. With my Dad, I haven't always been sure of that. This post makes him sound like a man of wisdom which he can be at times. So that's how I will let it stand.