Wednesday, February 11, 2009

words of my father

There was a citizenship quiz posted on AOL, and, a bit cautiously, I decided to take it. Out of thirty questions, I missed one (the age minimum for a candidate for president--I confess I'm not cursing myself for not knowing that fact). I guess that means I am worthy of citizenship.

One of the questions, the age at which one is entitled to vote, reminded me of a conversation long ago that I had with my father. At issue in public debate was the matter of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Dad was in favor, and I remember his singular reason: "If they're old enough to be sent to war, they're old enough to vote." Made sense to me.

Recalling those words got me thinking about the wisdom of my parents (by my own perception) that I have captured somewhere in my memory. I say "somewhere" because I don't appear to be able to access that information on demand. A subject, like the questions on the citizenship quiz, will evoke a memory, but I could not otherwise have recalled that little snippet outright.

I'm thinking that when these moments of memory pop up I ought to start writing them down and collect them somewhere. Reviewing such a collection would offer an interesting perspective of the impact my parents' values and opinions had on shaping my own beliefs. It would, of course, be an incomplete picture because it would be an incomplete list. Still, it would be something. As my father ages and becomes increasingly frail (he will be 85 this week), the desire to make tangible those pieces of influence becomes important.

Time for a little reflection. Time for a daughter to honor her roots.

1 comment:

madcow said...

I think I've told you before but the only gem I can remember from my father was a letter I received when I had first left home to work and was living in a girls hostel. Scrawled in crayon on a scrap of paper (to be funny mind!) was the legend "remember to cut your toe nails now you're sleeping in other peoples sheets!" It still makes me laugh some 33 years later!


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