Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My girls

I have three best friends. Two of them, I've known since I was 13. My other best friend is my sister.

I absolutely treasure the history I share with these three women.

Though they all live in different cities, in the last month, I've been able to spend time with each of them. And, it has brought me tremendous joy.

When I sit down with them, it all makes sense. Things I couldn't articulate suddenly become clear. Doubts erase. Memories come flooding back. And, the hours fly by like minutes.

When we leave, there are always tears in my eyes. The kind of tears you get when you care for someone so much and you have so much history that your heart kinda hurts and words can't explain it.

Man, I love my girls.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My dad

I have an awesome dad. Sure, he always has the TV on too loud, tells really bad jokes (something about watermelons going to John Cougar MELLENcamp's for the summer) and most of the time, I look at his outfits with a furrowed brow, but the man really does rock.

As an adult, you think you know everything about your parents. Because, after 30+ years, how could there be any more secrets, right? But, my dad continues to surprise me.

Last week he told a story about the Chicago race riots in the late '60s. The city was a hotbed of racial tension. He saw a black man leaving a building and realized this guy would have to walk through a mob of white men – who’d been drinking -- to leave. Seeing where this was going, my dad stood next to the black man, walked out of the building with him and there was no incident.

His commitment to doing the right thing has always been a powerful example to me.

Every parent knows that sacrificing time, money and opportunities comes with having kids. And, my parents certainly sacrificed for my brother, sister and me.

But, my dad started supporting his family in high school. There were often strikes at the phone company where my grandfather worked. But, a labor dispute doesn't stop rent from being due or the electricity bill from arriving. My dad worked thru high school to support his three sisters and parents.

I wonder what it would have been like to go to work for my family after school instead of basketball or volleyball practice. Because of my dad and his hard work, I never had to know.

I don't want this post to sound too Hallmark or mushy but I have a really great dad. He's wise, generous, funny (sans the watermelon joke), loving and most importantly, always makes time for me and my siblings.

I hope your dad is like my dad.