Dad was one of those unusual people who could turn his hand to anything and do it well. He could fix the toaster and play the guitar; he even knew his way around a boxing ring. With his magical tricks and witty jokes, he could entertain a room full of people with ease.
A meticulous maker of intricate things; he lived his life free of debt and spent money wisely. He never drank and he never swore. Over the years he also developed an uncanny knack for being right and people often came to ask his advice.
At the age of fifty, he suddenly started running in marathons and, just for good measure, he always crossed the finish line by doing a forward roll (in spite of his bad back). He once grew a prize vegetable garden from seed, he then rewired the whole house to an impeccably high standard.
And yes, he could fix the TV set and the car, but Dad’s greatest gift was his writing. His beautiful handwritten notes always carried a beautiful majestic flow. Writing seemed to light a fire deep inside him. In his spare time, he would leave notes for anybody who would read them.
When eBay first came along he would spend an hour writing the most eloquent description just to sell an old coat. Before leaving for work he often wrote Mom a page-long letter. It’s fair to say Dad’s writing was not only his gift, but it was also his passion. The problem was he didn’t know it, and so he settled for less.
For most of his working life, he fed me and my two sisters by driving a big red, double-decker bus (which due to his precise nature, always ran on time).
Dad never skipped a day of work, not even when he was ill. With an unblemished driving record that stretched more than three decades, his only goal was to deliver people safely to their destination. His bus driver uniform was always neatly pressed in a certain way, and his clean, polished shoes stood out from a meter away!
Dad was honest and friendly with everyone he met. Late one night a man boarded and left his wallet behind. The next morning the wallet found its way back to its rightful owner. Another night a drunk got on the bus and spat in dads face — he wasn’t quite as easy to trace.
If you asked my dad why he drove a big red bus he would always joke, “It’s an easy job, my load walks on and walks off.” He somehow found a positive in every situation. Dad was gifted in so many ways and I’ll never know why such a meticulous mind spent ten hours a day sitting in traffic while driving a big red bus.
It pains me to say it now, but dad wrote me so many eloquent handwritten letters to me that I’d sometimes catch myself skimming through them. If only I’d known back then I would have said, “Hey Dad, why don’t you write down all those practical tips that you know?”
He often told us things like, “Never buy a house at the bottom of the hill.” Earlier this week the local news ran a story about a street that had been flooded out, except of course for the one house that stood at the top of the hill.
Sadly, dad’s not here anymore so my question to you is this. What’s your passion in this life and why aren’t you doing it?