The Special Bond

Six years ago today I lost my Dad. I felt the life leave his body as I held his hand, comforting him in his last moments–or was I grasping those tired old fingers, hoping for one more more day with this wonderful man?

We had a special bond, there’s no doubt about that.  When I look in the mirror each day, I see his eyes in mine and as you can see from this old picture, we also shared the same ears. But, it was more than that.

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Two peas in a pod

My mom said we were two peas in a pod and even though I knew this was not meant as a compliment, I was proud to be in the same pod with my dad. We may have gotten on Mom’s nerves, but we always understood one another.

Only a few hours after Dad died, my son came to me with a poem in hand. He had spent those few hours writing me a poem to honor the special bond he saw between Dad and me. I want to share that poem with all of you here.

The Special Bond
By Brett Miller
12/22/2009

There are things I will never know about this man;
I’ve known him for but twenty-one years
But you were his biggest fan
To him you confessed fears, and for him you shed tears

He and I spoke of our love for the game
Shared laughs, and thoughts of the years of my prime
I respected and loved him; what you had was not the same
You had a bond shared but once in a lifetime

He was your hero, your inspiration, but mostly? He was Dad.
A loving father who was so very proud of you
But he was ready; he wouldn’t want you to be sad
Even though he had to know you would shed a tear or two

But now you know that he is in a better place.
Let yourself smile and think “How could he not be?”
Imagine the joy that would be on his face
At the very least, now he is finally free

Though we will not speak to him again
His legacy lives in his brilliant daughter: you
And also in how I am shaped as a man
Remembering these good things is best to do

I loved him, Mom, and I love you too
But no one will ever love Bernard Jack May the way you do

As I read and re-read this poem, I know Brett is right, my dad and I had a special bond. But, as I look back over more old pictures, I see Brett had quite a special bond with his Boppa (his name for his grandpa–long story I’ll save for another day).

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At the State Fair

I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Brett inherited his love of words from my dad as well as his intelligence and awesome sense of humor–or was it from me? I am the link between the two of them and just maybe, we are three peas in a pod. I’ll share my pod with those two guys any day.

You Reap What You Sow

It is said you reap what you sow. I thought I had been doing a reasonably good job of IMG_2329sowing seeds of kindness and generosity so why was I reaping the week from hell? I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with my seeds. Perhaps I planted a package of genetically modified (GMO) seeds—mutated with expectation. When will I learn to just plant the damn seeds and let them grow at their own pace?

The week started out okay. I sowed a few cranky seeds as my son and I got a late start IMG_1097to the Seahawks tailgate, but once we got there, we shared our food with friends and a few homeless visitors and we were rewarded with a fantastic Seahawks win. Golf the next day with my boy was also a joyous reaping, but that’s where it ended.

Hell week started with work. My last project of the year morphed from a simple online enrollment of fifty people to an antiquated paper project taking much more time and effort for both me and my clients. We were all unhappy as we reaped the obvious result of a bad seed—what had we done to deserve this?

By midweek, that news seemed tame when I found out I had two more tumors in my bladder. They’re small and don’t pose a significant threat, but surgery is required—and two weeks of feeling under the weather is more than I wanted to waste. I’ve never been good at resting.

If that wasn’t enough, I dropped my wallet on Capitol Hill as I rushed to meet a client at Starbucks. I assumed it was in my car, so I paid for my tea with loose cash and chatted with a woman who bought her first policy from me to cover the birth of her son. He’s now twenty-one, so after all these years, this client feels more like a friend. On the bright side, I reaped the good vibrations of our conversation, but on the not-so-bright side, my wallet was lying on the sidewalk waiting to be picked up by someone who would likely find my credit cards very handy at this time of year.

As I begrudged my unfortunate circumstances, my father’s words came to mind. This, too, shall pass. That’s true, but maybe that wasn’t the answer. Maybe I needed to look at these things and find out why they were placed in front of me. And, as I pondered each situation, I got my answer. Continue reading