“All I want for Christmas is for you to be a good boy” – My Father
I used to hate when I’d ask my dad what I could get him for Christmas. He’d always say he didn’t need anything. Then when I pushed him, he’d say that he wanted me to work hard, get good grades, love my mother, brother and sister, and just be a good boy.
Funny how we pick up on these kinds of things from our parents and they don’t become relevant or remembered until we started saying or doing the same things ourselves. Yesterday I was driving by his old high school on my way to work . his high school is now a run down government building of some sort that looks half abandoned. I kind of like driving by it every day. It is nearly the same route my dad used to drive in the 70’s when he would go to work. Two days before Christmas I was noting how light the commute traffic was when bam, a car got hit going through the intersection in front of the school and ran into the fire hyrdant causing a geyser a hundred feet into the air.
A flood (no pun intended..well maybe a little) of memories of my dad raced through my head. My dad would wear a Santa’s hat the day before Christmas and drop gifts off to his clinic co-workers and lab technicians. He always had that smile on his face. One of the funny things about my dad is that he had this office which overlooked San Francisco’s Union Square. The office located at 291 Geary was his for over 30 years. A small space for one dental chair. It was his sanctuary. For 30 years my dad would take his holiday cards that he received and gently place the cards in the slats of his Venetian blinds. There those cards would sit until the day I closed his office after he was forced to retire. Everyone joked about the Christmas cards that thry’d have to be forced to stare at in the middle of June with their mouths wide open as he asked them about where they were going for the summer break. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, well I just started doing this myself. I don’t think I’ll be at this current job or office for 30 years, but it is a bit of an homage to my dad on this Christmas Eve.
So I am here at work on Christmas Eve. I’m trying to meet some stretch goals for my company. My dad used to work 6 days a week and golf on the 7th. Some might have wondered if he was a good dad. I probably would question someone who does that today, but I do think my brother and sister today would say that their dad was with them and is still with them in spirit. There is a bit of our father in all of us and today I am working while most people are at home, because I am making sure to put that bread on the table as they say.
Maybe I’m a bit nostalgic, but I’m sure there are others out there who find themselves on this day doing something to remind them of someone who is no longer with them.
Happy Holidays everyone