When my father passed away, he took with him an album of memories. Recorded on the tracks were times that I now see the mirror image of the woman I’ve become. He was a humble man, who would give his shirt from his back, tried not judging others, and believed in hard work to earn a decent living for his family. Like any person, my father made mistakes along the way but his professional ethics were strong. Like my dad, I believe that a man’s handshake and a man’s word should be as good as the man, himself. There are no in-betweens. Either you’ve got integrity or you don’t.
Now, I find myself seeking subtle hints or clues in nature; searching for trace glimpses of my dad. I saw a couple things that weren’t in my yard the other day. Maybe it’s because I’m so desperate to discover his presence during the trials I’m encountering in my life right now; or maybe he has simply sent me a little message from beyond the grave to let me know, “CarolAnn – every thing is going to be alright.” Getting back to the trace evidence of my dad (in nature) – I ventured out onto my back porch and stood beneath my small awning. There, in clear view was one bright, fuchsia rose on my over-sized rose bush. The bush had bloomed about eight weeks ago and was filled with rose buds. In the ensuing weeks, the flowers came to pass and then there were none. Empty for the last few weeks, I assumed that the rose bush was completely done blooming; but as I peered outside – there it was. Not 20 or 40 rosebuds, just the one; all by itself. Then, trailing up my wooden railing was a perennial passion flower vine that has been developing over the last month or two. Right there besides the railing was just one purple passion flower. Not two, not three, just one. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I choose to think that it was my dad showing up in the most unlikely places.
Typically, I retreat to myself when I’m anxious or depressed. Today is no different. As you may be able to tell, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching to see what’s next in my life. Prior to losing my position for a great company, I really thought my job was secure. I guess the superficial honesty and deplorable greed of external powers presented me with a harsh reality check. Shoulda’, coulda’, woulda.’ I was thinking about all of this; including my current financial predicament, and wondering what direction I’d like to take next. Though difficult as it seems to me, I’m searching every angle, every avenue that will lead me to the success I desire.
Maybe tomorrow is not for me to know, but I have to completely forget yesterday to create self-sustaining victory in my life today. Maybe my dad was trying to metaphorically tell me that I have to stand out from the crowd. Perhaps his message to me was that I needed to become the flower among the thorns; become the passion among the vine trails; and be the one to meet life’s challenges. I am my father’s daughter. There was never a time where his MacGyver instincts didn’t kick into overdrive when it came to finding ways to earning an extra dollar. He could turn discarded electrical appliances and other tossed “junk” into cold, hard cash. It’s amazing what a person can do when confronted with desperation and lack of funding. My dad was one of those people. I am one of those people, too.
Folks say that hindsight is always 20/20. Perhaps I didn’t see…or maybe I didn’t want to see what was coming down the wire in my professional life. Though the nagging feeling of injustice was constantly waning in the back of my mind, I pushed it out and threw myself full-throttle into my work. That was the best way I knew how to overcome this stalking threat. Now, when I think back to just years ago when I had lost just about everything, including my ability to walk and to feel my legs, I didn’t permit paralysis to stop me from recreating my life and livelihood. Rather, I rediscovered my sense of writing and marketing, and here I am. I can walk again through the grace of God; and every chance I get, I tell folks about my experience and the miracle that was not just a part of my life, but that the miracle was “me.”
So now what? My mom keeps telling me to believe and know that God is going to see me through this time in my life. “Don’t give up,” she says, “there’s always hope.” And maybe there is hope. Maybe there is still a way I’ll be able to get my proverbial “groove” back in life and use my professional marketing skills and writing talent to be the person I am intended to be. After all, I am my father’s daughter. “Can’t is not a word,” he used to tell me. Today, I’m going to make a pledge to myself that I CAN do anything. Today is my day to live with passion, to become the beautiful rose, and to amplify my gift of writing, my personal integrity and my work ethics that I’ve always had and will continue to have for the rest of my life.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy
Landslide – Stevie Nicks – A song that is near and dear to my heart.