No, it’s not Father’s Day, slow your beating heart – you still have time to decide between ties and fishing flies. It just happens to be my father’s day. He’s the guy on the right, next to my mom, toasting to the joy of a Sicilian evening a few year’s back.
Why post about it? I’ve been thinking about Parents a lot since I thought I missed Mother’s Day. Realizing I hadn’t, I felt guilty that I don’t show enough love. To my parents. My friends. Pretty much anyone, come to think of it. But, to my Parents in particular (no offense to you, dear reader – maybe I’ll get to lovin’ you in another post someday).
Some of you have heard me talk about my Parents, their awesomeness and their aging. Our disagreements and the nearly un-believable tales about their youthful adventures in the Honduran jungle (which make my European Sojourn look like a picnic in small town South Dakota). As with all parents, they are way better than one, well-marketed day and they deserve to know it.
So here it goes. Thank you, Fred Worman for being my Dad. Thanks for all the skills – from the uber cliche ‘how to fly fish’ (which actually didn’t work out), to a certain political astuteness when you were trying to help me not get kicked out of high-school, to multi-tasking (You behind a paper at the end of a long day: yeah, that’s great! Me: Dad, you’re not looking! You: yeah, that’s great! – this is handy stuff in a multi-media world). Storytelling, work-ethic, an insistance on cooking once in a while, your respect for mom, etc… encouraging me to enjoy as you slipped a $20 in my hand on the way out the door, telling me to have a good time.
But the one that sticks is the unending support for my various whims that you and mom encouraged over the years. Flute, theater, swimming, track, coin collecting, etc, etc, etc. Getting up at 5 a.m. on your weekends to drive a sleeping me to a well chlorinated space so I could swim a few races, encourage me when I had a shitty one and wanted to hide, smile when I had a good one, then take me home. Via someplace with big sandwiches. For, what, 18 years? Then, closure as you tried to surprise me at the last meet of my college career with a flight up to Wisconsin in time for my best 50 Free ever (Wisconsin in February no less – now that’s love).
Man, I don’t know what you got from all that but it showed me You as one hell of a person, bent on thinking about and trying to do what you thought was Right by yours. I may have drifted a bit to the existential left (call it a generational thing) but you showed me the value of having my own (evolving) beliefs. Many of Yours are here in my work, understandings, and in trying to be there for people I love – stubbornly cheering and sending small offerings – though facebook, time and distance keep getting in the way. I try not to take folks for granted and live up to some advice you once offered – – ‘give 70%, expect 30 and things will be alright.’ That’s damn hard, sir, but I try. You set a high bar. Thank you for sharing your way and your love as I work on my own web of human connection.
So, amongst all else, thanks for that. There will be chances to return some of the favor over the next 20 but until then, consider it well paid forward. I’ll definitely tip one to you tonight in Warsaw. Happy Birthday and much love.