When asked, “How’s it going in your world today, Daddy?” His answer is likely, “Any day I’m vertical is a good day.” If asked about how he’s feeling, the answer will be, “Great!” because in saying so, he somehow makes it so in his unique world.
For example, I picked him up one day last week to ride around with me, running errands and gathering supplies. We even stopped to have some brunch outside a favorite local spot–no doctor appointments or vaccines or bad news, just a familiar daily experience of “noodling” around town. It was amazing to watch him simply savor riding in the car, looking at the colorful trees and leaves floating on the breeze, feeling the cool wind on his face, and interacting with others during our time together. At one point, we walked into a downtown bank to drop off some company materials for M and dad left with a lollipop and four new acquaintances who knew little about him other than he’s a witty, personable guy.
While Dad never sweats the small stuff (“preventative worry” was my mom’s job according to him), he embraces the small everyday pleasures with the greatest of ease. He rarely allows his unknown setting or situation to get in the way of being a decent human being. His brain may not hold names, dates, or many memories, but deep inside his heart and soul, kindness and decency prevails. He waves and greets, smiles behind his mask, compliments, thanks, and even holds the door for others. He finds purposeful, meaningful ways to interact and showcase his gratefulness for remaining vertical. As a former private pilot, dad often attributes life’s events and experiences to the weather–the various storms, winds, and pressures come and go whether he can fly in them or not. He simply chooses to be grateful for all of them because each season of life brings it own unique opportunities and blessings anyway. And oh how I marvel with the way he keeps moving forward vertically and in gratefulness for as long as he has voice in this world.
So today: When challenges attempt to prevail in your life, what purposeful ways bring fresh perspective and possibility for gratefulness anyway?
Stay vertical y’all, and as always, be blessed and be a blessing as you care for yourself and others. 🙂
Thank you, Beth, for posting the picture and update on your Dad. He has long been a favorite friend of mine, and his resilient sense of optimism and gratitude, despite his changed circumstances, continue to inspire me.
Dearest one…thanks for these extraordinary words of encouragement! I shared them with dad too! He’s a great example of perseverance in action for all of us really. My best to you and yours always! b
Hello, Susan, and many thanks for these kind words, my friend! NC is absolutely STUNNING this fall, huh?! I need to come your way soon so we can explore the trails together! Take care, b
I’m so very glad to hear that your dad is still smiling. We can all learn from your positive attitude as well as his sense of gratefulness. Enjoy this beautiful N.C. fall weather!