I was thinking about you today — thought I’d write. I’ve no reason to share with you, really, being that I do not know much about your life. Only what I imagine of your life — that’s all I have to go on.
I imagine it’s winter where you are, cold, icy. I imagine that like me, you have to shovel the stuff and it might make you think about the days when you had time to ski. Now skiing is in our heads, something we wonder if we’d have to relearn if we were to ever enjoy it again. We. There is no “we,” but I like to write it anyway.
Today, I went over and secretly shoveled my dad’s driveway after shoveling mine. The neighbor saw me and came over with his snow blower. Dad hustled out of the house when he heard the blower, that’s how he knew I was there. It embarrasses him, I think, to accept help when he feels perfectly healthy. ( One little problem with not remembering ONE damned thing about having a heart attack; he still thinks he’s invincible.) Still, he went up to his neighbor, thanked him and told him “I can do it!” He glanced at me and then added, “I tell her, but she won’t listen.” He shook the guy’s hand, thanked him again. I kept shoveling as they talked for a moment. I could see by the way my dad shook hands and by the way he patted the neighbor on the back — a firm pat, that he refuses to let age get the best of him. Not even a heart attack will stop him. He is that determined. He’s a man. All that is good about the race of men, that’s who and what my dad is. Maybe it’s a rare thing — but he’s one of those guys who thinks the way John McClane* would. I’d like to believe it is an acquired attitude, something learned over time. It’s a form of grace.
So I am back here now, trying to get my external player to load up some stuff on my computer before hitting the keys hard. I have 15 days to finish a screenplay. Which means I should not spend time writing here or to you.
But I needed to note, if to no one — not even you, that I’ve held true with my promise to myself. To cut the distractions and conversations with people who bring me down from my focus and goal. I am first on the list this year. If I save myself, I can save others – just like on an airplane. I am going to fix this thing, this “situation” we’re in (the kids and me). I promised Nora. If I don’t succeed, then clearly I will die trying. Like my dad, I vow to be that determined. And like my Dad, I believe I will need God’s help to pull it off. As long as I don’t quit, I’ve got a chance. My dad is living proof.
* John McClane, the character from the DIE HARD films, played by Bruce Willis, who, incidentally has similar features to my father. It’s the Italian in them.