Twenty Eight Years of Danae

It’s kinda fun to hear my kids talk about how they feel so old.  Imagine how old I must be if my baby is 28 years old!  Danae was the one who first called me Daddy.  When I think of her as a little girl, so many little stories pop into my mind.  One evening carrying her on my shoulders when she was just about 2 years old, she said, “I see the moon.  I find the moon!”  It’s one of those things that I remember fondly, but I could never in a million years explain why.  If you don’t get it, just roll your eyes and move along.

One of my favorite Danae stories was when she was about 5 or 6.  I was looking closely into her face and scolding her about something.  Our eyes were locked so I could sense that she was experiencing the fear and respect I desired.  After a minute or so of fussing, she just crossed her eyes.  She was no more listening to me than the man in the moon.  I burst out laughing and asked her how in the world I was supposed to be upset with her when she did things like that.  Jeanie and I struggled with how to punish Danae.  She didn’t mind at all when we sent her to her room.  We could put her in time-out on her bed by herself with no books or toys and she would be just fine with it.  It was not at all unpleasant for her.  She had (and still has) such an active imagination!

Danae has been such a joy in my life.  She and I share so much in common that it is scary sometimes.  Not too long ago, we were riding in her car and she played a piece of music for me from the movie, Hook.  She was pointing out some complex harmonic elements and how they reminded her of something.  I understood her and I heard it too.  Then I heard something in the music that reminded me of Stravinsky.  When I said so, she heard it too.  I don’t know that we had ever connected so completely about music as we did that day.

My role in Danae’s life has grown from being her “daddy” to her friend and coach. I love it when she calls to tell me what’s going on, to ask for my advice or just to vent about something.  Now that she’s the mom of my granddaughter (did you think I could write a blog about Danae without mentioning Molly), and such a terrific mom!  It just gets better and better.

Happy Birthday Danae.  I love you so much. I am so very glad that I get to be your dad.

RIP Billy Mays

Can you believe all the recent celebrity deaths? Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and I just got an email from CNN Breaking News stating that pitchman, Billy Mays died today.  Since I’m not much of a TV person and I despise commercials, I honestly have never heard of the guy before today.  I looked him up on Wikipedia, where they had a link to his Twitter page.  I thought it might be interesting.  What does a guy tweet about when he’s nearing the end of his life?

  • Just had a close call landing in Tampa. The tires blew out upon landing. Stuck in the plane on the runway. You can always count on US Air. – Sat, 27 Jun 2009 19:01:09
  • Getting ready to fly back to Tampa from Philly. Monday is the big day (HIP REPLACEMENT NO.3) Keep you posted. – Sat, 27 Jun 2009 14:40:05
  • Just got done shootong a new product with my production company 4 Blind Mice. – Fri, 26 Jun 2009 21:28:57
  • Just finished up a brand new oxi-clean show in Jersey. On my way to Princeton to meet with Arm and Hammer and then to Philly and then hi … – Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:59:26
  • Just got done with the Tonight Show.  Had a great time.  The episode airs tonight – Wed, 24 Jun 2009 02:21:04
  • Just got to Conan’s studio.  About to go to the pre-pro meeting. – Tue, 23 Jun 2009 22:47:53
  • Happy Fathers day. Just relaxing with my wife and daughter in Boca. One more show tomorrow and then Conan on Tuesday. – Sun, 21 Jun 2009 19:45:59
  • I am attempting my most dangerous demo to date. I am about to repair a scuba divers puntured air hose and bring him safely back from the … – Sat, 20 Jun 2009 14:02:03
  • Today is the Big Mighty Brand Shoot. Keep you posted. – Fri, 19 Jun 2009 11:36:19
  • One commercial down two to go. Tomorrow is the big one the brand new Mighty Product and this one will be the Mightiest of them all I gua … – Thu, 18 Jun 2009 18:32:20
  • Was just on the .MJ Morning Show live with my son and brother inlaw Dan promoting Pitchmen – Wed, 17 Jun 2009 20:26:29
  • On my way to Boca Raton to shoot
  • . . .

So the guy was clearly living an extraordinary life… a bit strange, but by definition, extraordinary is not ordinary.  I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but I felt a bit let down.  Couldn’t he have left us with some words of wisdom?  Didn’t he know his time was up?  If this sounds disrespectful, I do not mean it to be.  I think it is interesting how little we talk about the one thing we all have to look forward to.  We don’t know when our time is up, but we all know it will be one day.

I have lots of questions about what the end of life is like in general and what it will specifically be like for me.  When someone dies, I think to myself, “Now they know.”  For me, I will be adding a new question to my list… “What will my Twitter page look like when I’m gone?”

31 Years

I am connected to so many varied circles of people and it occurs to me that most of them only know that part of me that connects me to them.  My neighbors know me as the guy with the near perfect lawn (sure).  My church friends know me as the irritating guy that won’t stop asking questions.  My musician friends know me as the guy who hardly plays anymore.  My work friends know me as the guy who gets things done at work (or not 🙂 ).  My running buddies know me as the slow old man.  Drew knows me as the webmaster (see Danny’s Ride).  My kids know me as their flawed dad who loves them dearly.

But there’s one who knows me better than anyone else. She’s the one who puts up with me when I’m in a bad mood.  She tolerates my musical taste.  She listens to me whether I’m dreaming up one of my crazy schemes or overwhelmed with the problems  of life.  She laughs at my jokes (sometimes).  She knows my vulnerabilities and my hot buttons.  She not only knows I am broken but knows how broken I am, and she loves me in spite of it all.

I was moved to tears last Saturday as I read these words of Ruth Bell Graham (wife of Billy Graham) writing about her 64 years of marriage…

“We have often said that we would not choose to go back to some of the early days of our marriage. Too often, early love is a mirage built on daydreams. Love deepens with understanding, and varying viewpoints expand and challenge one another. So many things improve with age. Those who abandon ship the first time it enters a storm miss the calm beyond. And the rougher the storms weathered together, the deeper and stronger real love grows.”

Thirty one years is not nearly long enough.  I’m thinking we should give it 31 more, just to see if we are compatible.  What do you think, Sweetie?