Have you noticed the pianos in Mexico? No? Placed in 44 cities around the WORLD, you will see them in Parque Luis Cabrera, Espana, Mexico, and even Parque Rio. I loved seeing the stranger that walks by and sits down and just begins playing the music inside of them. Imagine the hurt I felt when I walked by Thursday morning and saw the piano there turned upside down, and the bench smashed. Yes. Waling three dogs, I let Kinah, Wriggley, and Amaya off the leash and took the piano myself and uprighted it. Three to four people walked by, no effort at helping just staring. Yet it seemed the right thing to do.
Flashback to April 1, 2014. My father would have been 77 years old, 11 years ago this year marking his absence physically, and as I have mentioned before, Dad was smart beyond 66 years. He left us gifts that never can be bought, manipulated or changed, but only by us. I think that is the amazing legacy of families, the opportunity they provide to add to our lives, not to just take away the moment, but they add to those moments, be it memories or the very unspoken words that say – you can do things people only dream about. Dad was like that. Not blogging on April 1st was easy, I did not have the words to say what he had left us and how it had made me the person I am today. I felt this today as Dr. Tom Gordon and Jodi Katsafanas celebrated the SRU students here at our very own ASF. Every single time they have come you feel as they are a part of your own family, the students this year, as well as last, also continue to make you feel as they are a part of your own siblings, and I realized after telling everyone how luck we were to have had Mr. Gordon all this time at ASF and now he is retiring, that our Dad always instilled that in us without ever saying a word.
Dad was very quiet, yet, he instilled ht you do the extra work, you go the extra mile and then some, with never being asked. You do not question “Why should I do THAT?” and to say, “That is not MY job” in some cases is out of the question. The ability to provide you with the energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to figure out how to make life better without saying a word but showing others why it was so important to do so – his speciality. He was a aster of it and I always felt I could learn the meaning of life just by looking over his shoulder during the many times he was carving a snoopy figurine out of soap, creating a do-nothing machine out of of wood, carving Jacob’s ladder, or simply laughing in the belly laugh sort of way. Leaving food at the doorsteps, providing a ride to someone alone on a street, and taking individuals in that had nowhere to go, common for him. Yet, his spirt continues to thrive in those that had the amazing opportunity to be around him.
The word TEAM began to mean anyone within reach that was willing to buy into the fact that if you expected nothing, and gave out more, then you win. Period. No questions asked. I always have felt, and feel, despite the scrutiny, criticism, and analysis of why each of us go the extra mile and put our all into some areas we feel we have strengths, that it is our calling to not be happy and content with the minimum, but be only happy with seeing the maximum in order to lift others up. I always fly we had an obligation from being Dad’s children to uphold that legacy he left behind,never sure where it would take us, never sure what it would mean, but remaining true to what Dad always held in his heart.
April 1st was a quiet day of introspection, but I never felt alone, and I suspect that each of us under his family thread feel we always have an angel on our shoulders. Funny thing. I have a video tape recorded of when we had all the family over for a get together at my house on Oak Street in Butler, PA, the least time I can remember us all together with Dad. I never have watched that video as it has remained on the small videocassette format it has always been, it always seemed sacrilegious to open it up and watch. Yet, for some reason, I want to find a way to convert it now and watch it, an I think that might be goal for the next two to three weeks.
So that piano, and uprighting it this morning? Other thought enough to pick our neighborhoods to put something beautiful and life changing despite the ugliness that some people have inside, despite the disregard they have for the world, if there is that many more that feel the other way, – life can be a challenge and a palette for creativity – I think we might be on the right track. Goodness knows Dad considered no alcohol and no smoking to be his mantra, but a deeper message was you owed it to yourself to take care of yourself so you can in turn take care of others. While that is a HUGE bill to pay, I think it is a valuable one to receive and meet the challenge to every day.
Dream are literally the bread and butter, the salt and vinegar, the Old Bay on crabs, and how lucky am I that I am surrounded by individuals everyday that come up and ask, “I have this idea…” “I thin we should try…” they dream. They dream over and over and never take no for an answer, and I never want to be the one that denies what a dream can be, only to envision their vision and see how it can become even better. I elected the year NOT to tell the Repentino. staff as we trekked to New York this year the story I always share about The Rings Around Us-1, but I figured this would be as good as a place as any, as each of them have a little (and alot) of that dreamer inside of them, and there is no doubt they will go on to be successful – encouragement, confidence, and strength is what they possess, and when I look around, I realize, Dad is always near my, just now in numbers.