Reprinted from my Facebook blog - Corona Virus Chronicles
In the middle of a mild winter, my birthday on February 3, 2020 was a miserable day. It was snowy enough to make driving painfully slow, but not enough to close my school. I moped my way through my teaching day and an afterschool staff meeting. I remember all this because of what happened when I finally got home.
They say men of a certain age don’t really need to get presents on their birthday. Don’t you believe it. I was thrilled to open the large, thin box from my daughter in art school in California. Inside, attached to the back of a painting was a note simply saying, “Happy Birthday.” I was ecstatic when I saw the canvas in the picture.
When I had the stamina of a younger man, I dreamed of winning the World Series of Poker. It would take two other stories to explain why casting me as the purple seal at that poker table is perfect. The three cats I am playing against are my current cats, rendered in beautiful detail. After that horrible day, I cried with joy at my best present ever.
My wife curates an art store so she told me she would have one of her artists frame it for me. At the time, the eight-week time frame for framing seemed fine. It was only seven weeks before Corona hit.
So, now that we are opening up the state a bit, my wife was able to pick up the painting yesterday. She held it in one hand, the other facetiming with my daughter. I was overjoyed to see it again, and it was all I could do not to well up with tears again.
My daughter looked at me from my wife’s phone and made me laugh when she said, “Happy Father’s Day.” I didn’t want anything else, but she realized she was able to give me two gifts for the price of one. Smart girl.