My son lives far away, on the Canadian border. I seldom witness his interaction with his children. But when I do, it’s a beautiful thing; one that makes me proud of what he learned under my roof. This is about one of those rare moments when I actually saw immortality created.
My son was preparing his sons for bed. They were bathed, tired and starting to wind down. As their voices quieted, I heard a familiar sound from their bedroom. My son was singing a nursery rhyme that I had sung to him, some thirty years before.
I was moved, as I listened and realized, he had remembered every word. What’s more, he was doing more than just singing. He was conveying his love and affection to these little people, just as I did, so many decades ago. Surely such ordinary but heartfelt incidents are the immortality of ordinary people who live and love.
It’s in the stories we capture from the past and pass along as our gifts to the future. In the poetry we create and the letters we write. In the values we treasure and the integrity we show. It’s the gentleness with which we correct. It’s in the examples we set by what we do, so much more than what we say.
This is what it’s all about. What we teach by word and deed is the legacy we leave behind. By leading a good life, we do indeed find immortality.
Sometimes in the notes of a song filling a child’s bedroom, to the beat of a quietly rocking chair.
P.S. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who sing and read and talk to their kids – including those who have grown up. They too need your support and attention.