27 May 2024

Never Enough Words

When I was little, in our house in San Francisco, my parents – the wonderful Larry and Rose – hung a banner on the wall. This was the 70’s: it was probably canvas, or burlap, or felt, or some other hippie fabric. It said: “Each one beautiful in God’s eyes.”

Because of that banner, I went out into the world believing that there is beauty to be found in every single person, no matter their circumstance or story. As an adult, I had an a-ha moment, when I realized that that banner was responsible for my world-view and for the kind of person I strive to be. Each one beautiful in God’s eyes. The implication being: behave accordingly. I am grateful to my parents for hanging that banner on the wall and launching me into the world steeped in that message of love and hope. 

So that’s the first thing I am thankful for, about being Larry’s daughter. There is a whole lot more. And since I wish he were here right now, I think I’ll just address this next part of what I want to say directly to him.

Dad, thank you for creativity. Thank you for giving me a lifelong appreciation for art and for people who make art. Your pottery, painting, music, storytelling, hospitality and more are present in every single one of your three kids and seven grandkids, and we will forever remember the ways you have inspired us to pursue our own creativity. We will forever remember your boundless enthusiasm for our artistic endeavors.

Thank you for your bleeding heart. For always noticing what other people were going through, for recognizing injustice and not accepting it, for making other people feel better in whatever way you could. I hope that I learn to put others first in the way that I’ve seen you do so many times. I know you felt the suffering of the world acutely, and I’m even grateful for that. You gave me a living example of a person who stands up for what he believes in and stands with the outcast, the ignored, the oppressed, the suffering.

Thank you for making me, and virtually everyone you encountered, feel special. This week, I’ve heard many stories of how you made people feel seen and heard. The pot of coffee you brewed for a heart to heart with this person; the amazon package that appeared on the porch of another; the way you never forgot this person’s birthday; the way you recognized a student who felt overlooked. Your special gift was making all of us feel like the most important person in the room, and I for one will wear that gift like a warm blanket for the rest of my life.

Thank you for being so damn funny. It has been a gift and a joy to grow up in a house that rocked with laughter. You will be proud to know – or likely you already do – that Katy and Tony and I have handled the past week, our first without you, with copious amounts of joking, teasing, and laughing. I only wish you were here to enjoy some of the truly excellent sarcasm flying around 43 France Street. You would approve. 

I could go on all day about things I’m thankful for, but there is Guinness waiting for us at the big party we are having in your honor, so I will wrap this up.

There will never be enough words in the English language to capture your life or your spirit. I will never be done saying thank you. I don’t have any idea how to say goodbye, so instead of doing that, I will learn how to carry you with me from this day forward, to hear your voice when I need it and feel your presence with me. You were and are beautiful in God’s eyes, and in mine.

No comments:

Never Enough Words

When I was little, in our house in San Francisco, my parents – the wonderful Larry and Rose – hung a banner on the wall. This was the 70’s: ...