Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Sunday musings 10/9/16: Grateful

Sunday musings…

1) Camping. Recreational homelessness.

2) Enough. Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” Antoine de Saint Exupery

3) Khakis. As in the khakis that somehow didn’t make it yesterday morning on the way to the airport. Per Mrs. bingo they are right where the rest of the pile was before I crammed it into my backpack.

Did you know that Target is open at 0800 Sunday mornings?

3) Grateful. A quorum of the White family congregated in Rhode Island this morning to mark the 1-year anniversary of my Dad’s passing. Appropriately, the main event was Sunday mass in the tiny little Catholic church of my youth. Rock hard wooden pews with a 90-degree angle, just to make sure you suffer a little every week. We arrived 20 minutes early to make sure that Grambingo could sit in the front row.

Even the priest made fun of us.

Father is that (now) rare priest who reads far outside the lines and then brings his reading to the homily each Sunday. Today’s gospel was about gratitude, and Father’s take on the topic lined up perfectly with how we were all feeling about the day. You see, my Dad was a medical train wreck, a disaster just waiting to happen for about 3 decades or so. We, his family, were on borrowed time since a bypass surgery went off without a hitch in 1985.  Kinda like 30 years of extra time on a pinball machine. We were playing with house money.

Funny thing: not a one of us took any of that for granted. My siblings and I, our children, and of course Grambingo have been forever grateful for all of that time with Dad. No one was more grateful than he was, though. My Dad and Arnold Palmer were contemporaries. The great writer Dan Jenkins once said of him that no one was ever happier with his life than Arnold Palmer was with his. With all respect to both Messrs. Jenkins and Palmer my Dad was certainly at least as happy as Arnie.

When I read about Arnold Palmer, his life and his family, I see my Dad. Each day was a new and wonderful adventure, a unique gift that was as unexpected as a Depression era gift under a Christmas tree. Big or small, each daily victory was another reason to be thankful. Being grateful was the default setting for a man who began each day with enough. The lesson is very, very powerful.

Perhaps unconsciously channeling Saint Exupery Father finished by describing the most simple, elegant prayer yet written. “Thank you.” For all of the sadness that each of us has felt this past year without my Dad we are, each of us, grateful for the privilege of having had him in our lives for as long as we did. Each day he showed us what gratitude looked like. “Perfect” is likely unobtainable, but we can always choose to be grateful.

Thanks again, Dad.

I’ll see you next week…


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