Last night I had the rare privilege of hanging out with my Dad one on one. Just me, him, and the tranquil woods behind our secluded Pennsylvania cabin. For the last few years, for whatever reason, I haven’t been able to be with my Dad as much as I used to. I’ve been at school, he’s been busy at work. Whatever the cause may be, we don’t see each other as much as we used to, and that’s something that’s unsettling to me. I guess it’s just life running its course, but it still doesn’t make me feel good.
It was a beautiful summer night. The air was warm, the sky was clear, and a cool breeze kept the bugs from eating us alive. We sat on our back deck, admiring what was possibly the best night of the summer. We got to talking, my Dad and I, about normal guy stuff. We talked about football, our upcoming fishing trip, school, and work. It was a very typical conversation as far as conversations go between me and my Dad. But, during this very normal conversation, something strange happened. Somehow,we strayed to the topic of girls. This was odd because I never, ever talk about girls in general, let alone girls that I’m interested in, around my Dad. But, for some reason, it just felt comfortable to talk about, so we did.
I brought it up, actually. I was telling him that I had met this girl while I was working at school and that she seemed really great. We started going back and forth, me talking about girls that I had dated, and he doing the same. In the middle of talking about all the girls that he used to run around with and how crazy some of them turned out to be, my dad said, “Someday, you’ll see some of the girls you dated and say to yourself, ‘What the f*ck was I thinking?'”. Naturally, I laughed hysterically. Really, who wouldn’t have? What he had said was hilarious. But, after I sat there for a few seconds, I realized that what my Dad had said had much more meaning than I had initially given it credit for. What my Dad said had made me realize something that I had never realized before: that, until now, I had never really appreciated my Dad’s company.
Yes, the kwote is a very funny one. But, for me, it carries an important message. That message is this: enjoy the company of the people you love as much as you possibly can, for as long as you possibly can. Appreciate their companionship at any opportunity that you have. Cherish all the moments when your Dad, Mom, brother, sister, or whoever says something to you that makes you laugh until you cry because those moments are extremely finite. Those moments have a limited number and if you don’t appreciate them while you can you will deeply regret it someday.
The people on this earth that you are closest with will give you some of the greatest gifts that you can ever hope to receive. No, I’m not talking about what they wrap up and put under the Christmas tree. I’m talking about the memories they give you, the time that they spend with you, and the things that they say to you that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Maybe you’re not too close with your Dad, maybe you are, but everyone has someone who they genuinely love to be around. Regardless of who that person, or who those people are for you, make damn sure that you appreciate having them around. Your loved ones make life better, brighter, more enjoyable, and definitely more tolerable. They’re here to make you happy, to make you laugh, and, most importantly, to make you smile.
I know that this kwote isn’t like any of the others that I’ve posted, and it’s probably not like any other that I’ll post in the future, but it still has a lesson that has allowed me to glean some advice to pass on to you. That advice is to make absolutely certain that you are grateful for the presence of the people you love, because one of the saddest facts of life is that those people won’t be around forever.