It's Father's Day and I have nothing for a new column. So I take a walk for inspiration. Before I leave, I go on-line as the Internet is happily increasing my circle of friends. One, probably the nicest soul I have met, is away from his children, so he is tending his roses and visiting a sick friend. Another I feel incredibly privileged to know is a single mom who has a normally trying teen, (there has been mention of selling the teen to gypsies). Single parenthood is never easy, little support, always the bad guy, no where to turn; I know, my wife was a single mom until I came into the picture. This friend is tending a garden and took the time to make me feel special and wish me a happy Father's Day.
Taking inspiration from my on-line friend visiting an ill friend, I decide to visit the graveyard to pay my respect to deceased fathers. On my way, I made eye contact with a driver, who beeped, smiled and waved. I never met this person before, but I happily waved back. Another motorist who had no traffic and a lot of time to make a turn waited for me to get to the corner and cross, also smiling and waving, another stranger to me. As I neared the graveyard, I noticed a beautiful garden. The man tending it noticed me and stopped, smiled and proudly spoke of his horticultural masterpiece. It was a pleasant conversation with someone I've never met.
At the graveyard I was struck by how many years often separate the deaths of spouses. My father died before he met my wife or kids, which is sad. How much time is lost, how much is unsaid; how much is never discovered? How many lost Father's Days?
We live in a relatively small community, and there are plenty of problems - taxes, school budgets, unemployment, etc. and while a smile and a wave won't fix any of those it sure makes them a lot more bearable.
I'm glad we have holidays to honor special people, but why can't every day be "make the world a more beautiful and nicer place." I thank those who do it and challenge myself and others to try as well before it's too late.