It's strange what traits we pick up from our parents.
How tall or short we are.
And, sometimes, it's a totally obscure trait that goes unnoticed for years.
Closing one eye jauntily?
A few days ago, my 82 year old Dad ended up at the emergency room with a possible heart attack.
Mr. Jenny and I jumped quickly in the car to go to his side.
When we got to the ER he was talking up a storm with his doctor.
He was in fine spirits.
My Dad. Not the doctor.
My Dad kind of has this irrepressible spirit.
He can talk to anyone.
He is often smiling or being a smartass (ummmm...sorry about that profanity...I was just too lazy to look up how to spell 'alec' correctly. As in 'smart alec'.)
The ER was no exception.
I sat down on a chair beside my Mom and watched my Dad's face.
He was definitely acting like he wasn't scared.
He was definitely acting like it was just another regular day.
But his hands were shaking and his eyes occassionally filled with tears.
It made me afraid.
Until he turned his head and winked at me.
I'm not sure why, but that wink made me feel better.
Knowing that my Dad was continuing to live his life the way he wanted...quality and not quantity. Although 82 is definitely quantity in my opinion.
He was being irrepressible (and kind of loud and obnoxious - ha!) in spite
I admire that about my Dad. I admire that he winked at me even though he was obviously worried about himself.
The ER doctor felt that my Dad was safe for the moment and released him.
Driving home from the hospital, Mr. Jenny told me, "You know, you are just like your Dad!"
I was flattered.
Obviously Mr. Jenny admired my irrepressibleness (yes, huh, that is a word!)...
And my determination...
And my ability to laugh at lifes obstacles.
"Wow," I said in a humble voice, "That makes me feel good that you think that I'm like my Dad."
Mr. Jenny looked surprised.
"It makes you feel good that you can't wink with your mouth closed?"
How did we go from me being a hero in my own life to winking with my mouth open?
So I questioned Mr. Jenny.
"Huh? What do you mean? I thought you meant I was all determined and brave like my Dad."
Mr. Jenny looked surprised again.
He stuttered a bit in reply. "Well...ummm...yeah...I think you're like your Dad like that but... ummm...what I was talking about was the fact that neither of you can wink with your mouth closed."
"What the heck are you talking about?" I asked in a non-irrepressible and slightly annoyed voice.
"You know? When your Dad winked? He can't wink with his mouth closed. And neither can you! You're just like him."
"I can SO wink with my mouth closed!"
And I tried.
And I tried.
And I tried.
And, by golly, guess what?
I CAN'T wink with my mouth closed.
Mr. Jenny is obviously irritatingly observant about such things.
Let's just see if I ever wink at him AGAIN!
Who knew my Dad gave me more than my brown eyes and inability to be quiet for more than twelve seconds?
Obviously, not me!