Friday, September 30, 2005

One final, final thought

One final, final thought.
I awoke this morning, actually, in the middle of the night, with an urge to say something to someone. And as I glance out the motel window, it is still oddly pitch black for this time of morning, so I’m not ready to depart.
Neither is a friend of mine, although she and her family will be departing tomorrow (Saturday) for a new adventure in their lives. It is the kind of journey that most of us only dream of making – going to a new job, in which you are totally in charge and well-compensated for it; with a beautiful daughter and handsome husband (or vice versa for us males); and in a community of mystery and beauty.
And this friend is only 28! How I wish for that to be the case for me, given my back pain and health issues. I envy her to no end.
But this change is coming at the expense of sacrifice. She is leaving the hometown she absolutely adores, and with good reason. It is quaint, vibrant, small enough to know every inch of it, safe enough to leave your home unlocked, trusting enough to utilize a neighbor for day care and interesting enough to mesmerize outsiders like me.
That would describe this person in most ways. I am old enough to be her father and would be as proud as can be if that would have been the case. She is gorgeous enough for me to know that such thoughts are verboten papa! And she is talented enough for me to know that I’m glad I’m NOT in competition with her.
As a father, I would tell her this: trust your instinct and rely on your abilities. The knot in your stomach is not regret; it is anticipation (not that Carly Simon song used for Heinz ketchup either). The tears you might shed could be for memories remembered and friends to be missed. Then again, the same path can lead back to them for visits and God bless the cellphone to remain in touch.
I hope she gets this at her next e-mail address and is one of the first things she reads. I’d also tell her how special it is to be 28. That was how old I was when my son, Robert, was born almost 25 years ago. Now, a quarter-century later, at almost the same anticipated date, Robert will become a father and I will morph into a grandfather. I am already got the gray fuzzy beard part down.
What is it that is repeated through time? The more things change, the more they stay the same? Damn, I hate it when truisms are always true.
I wish my friend the best of luck and the best of new times. As I would for anyone I know and that I call “friend.”

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