The news says a tornado landed in North Dallas and the family asks if I know the name of a particular business and I nod my head in affirmation.
“They say it is gone now. Are you sure it is one you know?”
I flip into the work email and run a quick search that yields name that matches the name the news shared.
I hope no one was hurt and wonder about people I don’t know well but whose cellphone numbers are saved in my work phone.
It is only a few hours since I returned from the gym just before the skies opened up.
I had planned on walking but had changed my mind because I planned on making a stop to get a flu shot on the way home.
Another reminder that life can spin on a dime and you never know what might or could happen.
And so I turn this song on again and sing along in silence, no sign of my thick American accent.
Spent a chunk of time this morning working on the budget and trying to identify why it feels like I have been bleeding cash lately.
Unexpected dental, medical and auto repairs seem to be the culprit but I am not convinced without seeing the evidence so I tear into the finances and exhale…hard.
And then my old friend grief comes to visit because this activity, this intensity and focus is one I have seen in my father.
That extended exhale and gesture remind me of him and I wonder if my mom or sisters would ask if I was intentionally trying to imitate him or if they would recognize the indoctrination.
Certainly they would recognize trying to speak with me during that moment would not be advisable unless that aforementioned tornado was coming, and if it was it would be bad news for the wind.
This single minded of purpose and intensity of focus wasn’t always one of his best characteristics and probably isn’t mine either.
There are benefits to it and upsides that I can list. When the mood strikes I can crank out huge volumes of work and know the quality is unquestioned.
But like him I hate being interrupted and you probably won’t find me wearing my finest poker face.
In the midst of this day of Quicken I make a list of bills I want to double check so that I can confirm there are no better plans/rates to be had.
Feels like it was last week that dad teased me about parenting and said that I had it easier than he did ‘cuz I didn’t have as many kids.
“You didn’t have cellphones, Internet and a host of other things to cover now did you old man? And let’s not forget you failed to provide me with a brother.”
Dad laughed and shrugged his shoulders and then we started discussing cellphone plans and the costs involved.
I interrupt the moment to say I think his grandchildren would probably be fine without them.
“They still have payphones at the mall.”
I watch his face change and know he is about to lay into me about making sure his granddaughter is covered.
“If they would have had cellphones when you were younger there is no question your sisters would have had one.”
“Oh, so because I am a boy I wouldn’t get one.”
He laughs and tells me he worried about me in a different way. Tells me he worried more about my friends and I doing something stupid like getting into a fight.
“How many times did I do that.”
I don’t expect him to answer but he does and we go through what happened about a fight I had with the neighbor kid 34 or 35 years before.
I won the fight. It wasn’t close but he doesn’t care because what he remembers is hearing about how I ran in a circle around the kid taunting him.
That is not what bothered him, no he doesn’t like that my middle sister was there and my actions could have gotten her hurt.
We go back and forth about it and I don’t have to close my eyes to see or hear it. I’d gladly let him ball me about it now, but that is not going to happen.
Won’t get a call tomorrow asking if the tornado was close or far.
Won’t get to share the stories about the kids or have him tell me he just heard the funniest or best story about any of his grandchildren.
But maybe I’ll tell him a few things before I go to bed just for the hell of it.
Too bad Verizon’s Can You Hear Me Now doesn’t apply in this case huh.