No one in the house wants to spend time with dad and that old guy musician he wants to watch on Netflix.
“Sorry dad, Springsteen on Broadway” doesn’t sound interesting to me.”
I nod my head and say it’s ok and it is. They don’t have to watch, they just need to know that one day they’ll want to watch Bruce’s show or read his biography because it will provide some insight into parts and pieces of their old man.
They’ll want to read something like this because it will help illuminate parts in ways that others can’t light.
Because Bruce’s ability to write and tell stories fascinates me and the story about who he is and not who we think interests me,
And because at the moment I am fired up about the people we value or…don’t.
“Why are you angry? What has you so fired up?”
“There are people who never said they were sorry about grandpa. People who never acknowledged him dying and with few exceptions it is wrong. There are people who will tell you that your old man is difficult and that it is not easy to be part of my life.
I told those people if it is hard to be my friend take a walk. I don’t need or want them. Life isn’t always easy nor is it always hard.
If you don’t want to take a ticket to ride that’s cool, but don’t whine at me about it.”
I look at them and add that I can say this because I am a good friend.
“If we are friends I do my best to support you. If your parent dies I’ll say I am sorry because that is all it takes. A couple of words to acknowledge loss. It is not hard.”
We spend a few more minutes talking and I mention how many people came out of the woodwork to offer condolences including some who pleasantly surprised me.
It is a teaching moment, this thing, and I am determined to make something positive out of this.
“Life is too short to put up with nonsense. It is ok to have standards and it is ok to forgive people for things worth forgiving, which is to say if some of these people apologized I’d say ok.
Some people don’t know what to say, but I am not going to prompt them to do it.”
Footprints In The Sand
My time in LA is going to be jam packed and much busier than I like being but I expect to make time to hit the beach for a few.
Got to do more than dream of the sound and feel of surf and sand. Got to say hello to Mother Ocean and settle my California roots, even if it is just a moment.
There are footprints to be left in the sand, imprints of a story to be explored and investigated until the water washes the proof that I once was there away.
And somewhere in intermixed and in between there will be a visit to the old house, a favorite restaurant, a celebration of a child turning 18 and of course some time with people I value and who value me.
You find time to do these things because it is important. There is never enough time to do everything, but we do our best and those who are worth it know it.