I was sitting at a corner booth that butted up against the back window at a restaurant today for a business meeting over lunch. The rest of the group was seated on the bench seat with their backs to the window and I was seated at a chair facing the window. As I was in the middle of answering a question and looking at the faces of the people I was talking to, I suddenly noticed through the window behind them the profile of an older gentleman that was walking past the window. I stopped mid-sentence and proclaimed in a voice of surprise, ‘Hey…that’s my Dad!!!” They looked at me with a bewildered look on their faces of “what is she talking about?” This time in an excited voice I blurted out, “That man walking by the window right now…that’s seriously my Dad!” Then I noticed my father had a look on his face like he was walking around a bit lost. I immediately asked the people I was meeting with o please excuse me for a second. I rushed through the restaurant and out the front door and I hurried around the outside of the restaurant to see if I could find out if everything was okay. His backside was to me as he was walking toward the parking lot so I yelled out his name to get his attention. He was totally caught off guard to hear his name called out and turned around. When he saw it was me he got a great big smile on his face as I ran over and threw my arms around his neck to give him a big hug.
I explained to him that I was in a meeting inside the restaurant when I saw him walk past the window. “What are you doing out here?” I asked. He got the cutest look on his face and said, “I was over at Home Depot and then I’ve been trying to find the ice cream shop that’s somewhere around here so I can go and get myself an ice cream cone! Then I’m gonna take some of your Mom’s favorite flavor home to her!”
I don’t know why seeing my Dad today was such a big deal to me. After all, he lives only 15 minutes away from my home. But there was something about seeing his face unexpectedly walk by that window, and being able to run out and give him a hug, and seeing how cute he was with excitement to go and get himself an ice cream cone, and how excited and proud of himself he was that he was going to bring home my Mom a dish of her favorite flavor, that just made my whole day….
I went back and inside and finished up my meeting and then hurried over to my office for another meeting. Once I finished up my day and was driving home from work I began replaying the events of the day in my head. I felt my eyes welling up with tears… “Why was I feeling so emotional about it?”… I wasn’t really sure why, I just knew that seeing my Dad today meant a lot to me…it made me happy…and grateful…and blessed… Happy that my Dad gets so much joy out of a simple ice cream cone and being able to serve my Mom. Grateful to have such an amazing Dad who is still living and healthy. And blessed that I get to forever be his daughter.
For those who are lucky enough to have parents still living, find time to go give them a hug! We should never take it for granted how blessed we are to still have them around…
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )