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Do Whatever It Takes…

September 2021
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My ultimate goal in dying is to skid sideways in a cloud of dust into my casket and exclaim, “Wow! What a ride!” Then croak and fall in.

That would be just fine with me.

I realized, however, just yesterday morning that this goal might be rather… erm… selfish. I believe I’ve been a little lulled into a false sense of awesomeness by being “a good guy”. I realized there’s another who will be on that ride, skidding sideways in a cloud of dust with me… and she’s not been properly accounted for on that journey.

This wasn’t an epiphany in which I realized that I’ve been living all wrong all along and a complete 180 is necessary. No, I have done a much better job of it than my dad did and he did a very good job of “dad”. He’ll always be remembered fondly by all of his kids. He wasn’t a good husband, though. My mom was a handful and a long way from perfect, no doubt, but my dad didn’t do much with what he had. Again, I do a better job of husband than my dad did, but I saw room for improvement yesterday – a blind spot, if you will.

My wife and I had to drop off our daughter for a swim meet yesterday morning. It was raining and had been for hours (and would continue raining for many more) so there was no ride to be had. We’d hoped to sneak one in, but neither of us had a desire to ride in that mess. My wife was sitting drinking her coffee and I was thinking about my little ” I want to skid sideways into the casket in a cloud of dust” goal when I realized it would be a lot more fun if my wife and I were riding together.

It was then I could see that I can be a better riding buddy for my wife. A big overhaul isn’t necessary, but there are small things I can do much better. I kissed my wife’s neck a few times and let her know I realized I should be doing better and will continue to in the future. I’ve got a new way to look at our life together and it’s rather exciting, really.

Shortly thereafter, we were in the car with our daughter, on the way to drop her off for the bus ride to the meet. We went home and got ready to head to the swim meet ourselves, but decided to have breakfast at a local diner we rarely frequent. We talked about current events and future plans, and it was good. We had a fantastic time at the meet and our daughter did well. After her last event, it was in the car and off to our eldest daughter’s university football game where she’d be performing in the marching band. We missed the first home game for DALMAC, so this was our first time seeing the band perform a real show.

It was fantastic and a joy to behold. My wife and I had a fabulous time and even got to have our picture taken with the EMU Eagles’ mascot.

The handler is hiding behind us. The eagle is very much alive and we were instructed to keep our fingers at our waist if we wished to go home with all of them. She bites, apparently. The bird was unquestionably magnificent and I had to quell the urge to put my pointer in the air and shout, “‘Merica!”.

The halftime show was phenomenal and the home team won by a handy margin (59 – 21). I’m proud to be the papa of a kid who’s playing in such a wonderful band – that first note was an absolute punch to the mug (that’s a good thing – the sound was enormous). After the game, we took our daughter out for dinner then dropped her off at her dorm before driving around the campus to take a look after dark. It’s a lot prettier than when I attended 30 years ago (damn, that’s amazing to me).

My wife and I headed home hand-in-hand, having shared a great one together.

We’re heading out for a ride this morning, followed by a nap on the couch, a nice dinner at the dinner table, and bowling this evening. I will remember that the goal is for my wife and I to skid into the casket sideways in a cloud of dust exclaiming, “Wow! What a RIDE!” Together.


6 Comments

  1. I wish there were a “love” button next to the “like” button so I could click it. Great, inspiring read.

  2. Sandra says:

    What a fantastic post! 🙂

  3. James L says:

    Absolutely lovely post! On a sort of unrelated note when you talk about your daughter being at university now it makes me realise how long I’ve been reading you!

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