Friday, January 11, 2008

Moment of Dad...Did My Dad Have A "Bucket List"?

I enjoy the acting talents of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It was only a matter of time before some genius decided to put them together.
I guess that genius (more than likely) will be Rob Reiner. I haven't seen the film, and not sure I want to because I'm afraid of emotional overload.

If you haven't heard about this film, the two main characters (on opposite ends of the financial/social/racial spectrum) meet in a cancer ward, and they "escape" from it so they can complete items on their "bucket list" (i.e. list of things they want to do before they die). I'm sure there's moments of great humor and poignancy throughout the film.

If two actors could ever pull off humor and poignancy, it'd be Nicholson and Freeman.

But this got me to thinking...hey...MY dad had a terminal disease. Did he also have a "bucket list"?

I honestly don't know.

I'd like to think I knew my father as well as my mom and sister do. They never fail to surprise me with a smidge of information that I didn't have before, but I have a couple zingers of my own as well.

But looking over Dad's life (at least, what I know of it between personal experience and family lore), I think I have a list of sorts. It's not a bucket list, but maybe it's stuff he already put in the bucket. Who knows?

  • First of all, I don't think Dad ever expected a woman like Mom in his life. I think he wanted a woman like Mom, but he didn't set out to find a woman with all the qualities she has. Furthermore, I don't think Dad expected Mom (who was and still is "ladylike") to enjoy Westerns and target shooting.
  • I know that Dad wasn't worried about what gender his children were. But I think he was kind of surprised at how we turned out. I don't think my father ever expected that he'd be at concerts where many foreign languages were sung and weird instruments were played. He was also surprised that he'd go to as many OB appointments with my sister as he did. He DEFINITELY didn't think he'd be in her delivery suite. But that was the cool thing about Dad. He rolled with it. If he was surprised, he sure didn't let on that he was.
  • Dad didn't expect to be the unofficial grandpa of so many teenage girls by the time he passed away. I will always be of the opinion that Washington Junior High should have cancelled classes the day of Daddy's funeral so all of Courtie's friends could come. He enjoyed being a dad/grandpa for the masses and was always good to kids...he welcomed hugs and kisses from all of them.
  • Dad didn't expect house cats. He had two. He always ruled, "I don't want housecats. It's my house. I don't want 'em." By the time he passed, he'd had one already and had a current cat residing in his house. I think this act alone was another example of rolling with the punches and making sacrifices for the greater good (or at least keeping his wife and children happy).
Dad had a full and interesting life. No doubt about that. With a wife like Mom and kids like Ruthi and I (and grandkids like the three "Cs"), it was never dull. I think one of the keys to his happiness was the fact that he let himself be surprised by life. He didn't try to plan his life out to the most minute of details. He "rode with loose stirrups", and as a result, lived a very rich and fulfilling life.

So let me turn the tables on you, fair any of you have a bucket list? If so, what's on it?

I wants ta know, folks!