Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Today I am grateful for consistent people. Remember how I’ve mentioned that people don’t change much through the years. At that point I was referring to those in their 40’s who had the same attitude in their 60’s, but I recently learned it can go back much further.
In my high school, back in the 60’s, there were a lot of characters. There were the mean girl(s), the “clique” girls, the smart girls, the nerd girls, the preppy girls and the regular girls who sort of bounced around everywhere, like me. There were the “hood” guys, the brains, the jocks, the musicians, the rebels and the nice guys.
Showing up for a 50th class reunion is a trip all by itself. I went to the pre-event party the night before with a good friend and we chose our seats at the bar carefully. We had a vantage point of everyone who came in. “Who’s that?” we asked more than once, looking at all of those “old” people, knowing that we hadn’t changed one bit since 1968. Ha-ha! As our little group in the corner grew bigger with waves of recognition bringing them into our fold, we came to a quicker consensus. It’s sort of like how Himself and I watch Jeopardy. Pause – Discuss – Agree – Re-Start.
Back in the day one of the guys was so nice. You know the kind. Asking how you are. Offering to help with something, just an “always there” nice, kind guy. We had lost touch through the years, but someone connected us on Facebook a while back. He would “like” something I wrote occasionally, but we really didn’t have a lot of contact until I wrote something about my dad.
“You’re dad really helped me out 30 years ago when I was starting my business and I’ve never forgotten it,” he wrote. (Or words to that effect.) Wow! We’d respond back and forth a little, but not much more than that.
Sitting at the back side of the bar, I saw him walk in and waved. Same kind eyes. Same sweet smile. Same guy who was so nice to everyone back in the day. As he burrowed his way through the growing crowd I wondered if the card in his hand was his business card.
“I’ve been saving this for you for a long time,” he said, placing my gone-for-over-28-years, dad’s business card in my hand. I was stunned, bawling like a lunatic on the inside and speechless on the outside. Yes, me. It wasn’t just a nice gesture by a nice kid, who has morphed into a nice man.
It was a visit from my dad. And I really needed a visit from my dad. Loud or silent, funny or mad, working or fishing, speaking with farmers or governors, my dad was the epitome of a consistent person. What you saw is what you got. Each and every person was treated with the same humor and kindness no matter what their station in life or their own perceived self-importance.
Humor and kindness. Just like my consistent friend who saved my dad’s card for all of those years. And gave it to me. . .to frame.