My dad passed away on October 10, 2009. I always thought it would have been great if he had made it to 10/10/10. He loved numbers. He tried to get me into programming when I was a kid and he was a programmer at Honeywell. Programming and numbers lit him up.
He would have been so happy if I had followed in his footsteps. I had fun making the little flow charts, mostly because I liked using the stencils. But no matter how hard my dad tried to explain, I was doomed to never understand how a series of ones and zeroes could translate into intelligible language. Still. Can. Not. Compute. That.
If he had died on 10/10/10 we would have had that last Thanksgiving together too. I promised him the best Thanksgiving of his life. I had no idea how I would deliver it, coming from Los Angeles to Seattle without all my favorite cooking gear, and him being in assisted living. But damn if I wasn’t going to try to make it so. I thought that promise would keep him going. Of course, my famous mashed potatoes would do the trick. Alas, it was not to be.
Yet my dad left me many things to keep me going.
It wasn’t only numbers that lit him up. He used to visibly light up when I walked into a room. Even if he was upset with me (which was rare) there would be a little beam of light coming out of him in response to my presence. Those little rays are imprinted on my soul.
I heard Maya Angelou speak about this gift that every child deserves, to have their parent light up when they walk into a room. What child does not deserve that glory?
But it wasn’t just my dad’s beaming grin that imprinted on my heart. In the summers I lived with him in Alaska. Without fail, if he was around when I finally got my lazy teenage ass out of bed, he would smile from ear to ear and bellow “Good Morning Sunshine!”
I still hear him say it. Recently, I’ve been hearing it a lot.
I’ve been contemplating his lifetime of enthusiastic greetings on this tenth anniversary of losing him. I’m going to try to invoke my dad’s special brand of “Sunshine” by showing my friends and family more how much they light up my life.
I hope I can do him proud. It’s hard to not let the stress and pressures of life dim the light. But, it’s my new mission as I continue to remember the giant light that he was.
Everyone deserves to feel like they have lit up someone’s world each day, don’t they?
Remember, even if someone hasn’t told you today, even if no one has beamed a light in your direction recently, you are a light in someone’s world.