How do you weave the past, the present and the future into a single night? Spend the evening with the person who nearly 16 years ago did the one thing no one else on earth could do…you made me a Dad.
In the span of one night Sophie you reminded me why the most innocent of decisions, the smallest of gestures can lead to the greatest gifts. We tend to forget how much time is valued, especially when you spend that time with those you value the most.
It was an off-the-cuff mention, a question and then a decision to attend the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s performance of A Christmas Carol in downtown Baltimore last night, which led to another lifetime of memories collected in one evening. After getting a post card in the mail a few weeks ago announcing the show, (yes snail mail still works), we decided we would try to attend just before winter break, a dad-daughter date. As an actress in the show last night explained through one of Charles Dickens classic lines,”such a small matter to make folks full of gratitude.” Sometimes that’s all it takes, a tiny gesture of goodwill, to spend a few hours one-on-one with you, and make the world a better place for me. To the world you might be just one person, but to one person you might just be the world.
The Past: Our decision to grab some dinner before the show, Indian cuisine, (subject to your approval first of course), which led to some great conversation about everything, including questions about my earlier life. You asked me about my former TV career and the question then centered on why I left. It’s interesting to re-tell the story to the one person for whom I made the decision to leave – the one person who at that time I decided I refused to miss out on – the person I would miss watching grow up if I didn’t take control of my destiny, before it was too late. It was the best decision I ever made, because last night there I sat staring across the table at this incredible person I’m so proud of and actually know… instead of wishing years later I hadn’t “missed out”.
The Present: Our entry into the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Theatre and both our realization that here was a beautiful place we never even knew existed. A small venue, completely re-done but still adorned with some of the original architecture from more than a century ago.
There was the mutual understanding that you and I appreciate art more than most – especially performance art – and were ready to watch in wonder and give respect to those about to share their craft. Glancing over at you I saw that smile on your face and the bright light behind your eyes and I knew the decision to attend was a huge win…and honestly at that moment more for me than for you. The smallest of moments appreciated, because as we quickly learn, or at least try to teach ourselves, we must savor every moment because once it’s gone, it’s never coming back. On stage the actress was describing the transformation of Scrooge, “he learned that night how not to think, but to feel”. Sometimes we all get caught up thinking too much, worrying about the present and the future, instead of feeling our way through the days and moments of the present. Thank you for reminding me again what it’s like to simply feel and revel in the aura of the woman you are quickly becoming.
The Future: The lingering thought throughout the night, in the back of my mind, the one I kept trying to push away, of how precious these times are, how the years fly by as quickly as the three spirits show Scrooge the error of his ways. It won’t be long now before a night like this with you will be rare, just a few years before college and the lure of independence and adulthood are too much to ignore. It’s easy to look at you now and wonder just how bright your future will be – because just like the song playing on our drive home, Beneath Your Beautiful, is exactly the way I see you each day and my hope for you to keep it the same for all of your days.
And the more things change the more they stay the same. Just miles from home as you closed your eyes to rest, I glanced over at you, to get the glimpse of the same precious, peaceful face you’ve had since the day you entered this earth. As I did,Adele was singing the lyrics from her newest song – When We Were Young:
You still look like a movie,
You still sound like a song.
My God this reminds me
Of when (you) were young
You will always be my little girl Sophie. Thanks for a special night and a reminder of how all the layers of my life, the past, the present and the future are forever bound up in a life I helped create.
I love you with all my heart,
Until next time, thanks for taking the time
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Speech Writer, Emmy Winner, USHEALTH Advisors
Author: The #1 Amazon Best Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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