Around the end of March, my Dad celebrated his 75th birthday.
Seventy. Five. Years. Wow! So lucky and thankful that he’s still around. There were a couple of close calls.
We celebrated by having dinner at his favorite restaurant, Vincent’s
It’s a family and close friends kind of deal. This year, I was the only immediate family member to attend. But two other couples came: Greg and Josie, longtime family friends, and Eric and LaShere (not sure I spelled that right, but whatev), a new couple that my Dad is doing business with.
Every year, Greg asks my Dad to “throw down some wisdom”. LMAO. Man, I love Greg. He always makes me laugh with the stuff he says. I don’t remember what my Dad said this time around, but it was something simple and wise.
Then Greg looked at me and said, “What about you? What’s the one thing your Dad has taught you in his 75 years on this earth?”
Seventy. Five. Years. I’m just…I can’t even…
I sat there and thought for a minute—because there’s been so much—and I said the importance of education. Blech! Really? As I drove home, I ruminated over my response and I shook my head and thought, “I should’ve said something different.”
Story of my life.
Education was something that was important to both of my parents.
What I should’ve said was, “The most important thing he taught me…was how to moonwalk on the kitchen floor.” LOL
For truth. There was much dancing going on in our household–#GrowingUpMotown–but when Michael Jackson came on the scene, you can damn well bet we wanted to learn that shit.
He also taught me how to balance my checkbook. Even though I haven’t done it in years. <guilty look inserted here>
To be honest, the more I think back on that evening, the more I realize the most important life lesson he’s taught me is the value of long friendships.
The restaurant where we ate has special meaning for my Dad: 30 years ago, he approved a loan that would allow the owner, Vincent Guerithault, to start his restaurant. My Dad was in the banking business, VP of Commercial and Industrial loans. Vincent came to him and my Dad took a chance on him when other banks had turned him down. He’s been celebrating his birthday at Vincent’s ever since. And we’ve been reaping the rewards. He always gives us a plethora of free desserts to try and they are AMAZEBALLS.
Greg’s family owns a little plaza in downtown Phoenix that houses a bridal shop, a tuxedo shop, and a dress shop for the younger females. At one time, it also housed a Mexican food restaurant and a dry cleaners. My parents met and got to know Greg and the rest of his family when they took their clothes to get dry cleaned on a daily basis. After 20+years of friendship, they not only hang out, but they’ve traveled together as well.
Every year for Mother’s Day, we go to brunch with another couple of long-time family friends, Brandon and Jackie, and their family. Brandon and my Dad met when they were in banking together. I don’t know if they worked for the same bank, or, being that it’s a small world and they were the only black dudes in a sea of white, would run into each other all the time. LOL Either way, I think they’ve known my sister and I since we were born. They weren’t able to make it to the dinner this time, though, and they were missed.
Are you seeing the pattern?
The vibe at dinner this time was different but better, due to the new, younger couple that have now become a part of my parent’s lives. My Dad is the CFO of a company that’s going to do amazing things for concussion detection. By attending my Dad’s birthday dinner, Eric and his wife got to hear how he met Vincent and Greg and his family.
It was great hearing him tell the story about Vincent. And they got Greg’s version of the story of how they met and why, in his own words, they’ve been friends for so long. That was entertaining, to say the least. It’s like Eric and LaShere were being inducted into our special circle, and I hope they understand how rare and special that is. People have come and gone in my parent’s lives, but Brandon and Jackie and Greg and Josie have been the mainstays.
Hopefully Eric and LaShere will be, too.
The value of long friendships.
I guess it’s something you can teach, maybe leading by example? I somehow, subconsciously, ended up emulating that same mentality and have two people in my life that I’ve known for over 30 years.
People have come and gone in my life, but Roxy and Ken have always been the mainstays.
The value of long friendships.
Yeah, that’s a great life lesson.
Just as important as learning how to moonwalk on the kitchen floor.