I spent last night watching as 2016 sucked in its last breath. A death rattle many around the world were glad to hear.
So much pain and horror…so many celebrities that us regular folk held in high esteem left us (Bowie, Rickman, Wilder, Lenny, Carrie…loads more. The full list is HERE).
My father left us. Left me.
For fifty years or so, I would always turn to my dad when life became overwhelming. As a child, it was advice when dealing with bullies or–in quiet whispers on the eve of my first day in 1st grade–sharing a fear that I might not be able to ever read. Later, I sought his wisdom on girls or career decisions or corporate politics. I remember his calming voice and reasonable, measured, language whenever the next crisis happened.
Vietnam. Reagan shot. Challenger and later Columbia. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He had thoughts on the Russian Civil war of the 90’s and Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. He thought that 80’s fashions were stupid (no comment from former mullet-boy here). He thought George W. Bush was an idiot, but loved O’Reilly on Fox.
He was afraid Trump could win the whole thing. And he was right.
But dad missed that.
It was right after the election that I received a call from my daughter. She was in tears over the outcome. Boys in her school were…inappropriate…about the Trump victory (a fact I explained in no uncertain terms to said boys and to their parents, but that’s another story).
I spoke to my girl. We talked through the crisis. I calmed her down. We spoke about what she could do to make a difference. I used reasonable, measured language.
And that’s when it hit me. For all that was 2016, all the negative election crap, the rise of “Alt-Right” and “Post-Truth,” something amazing happened.
I became my father.
The darkness that was 2016 had a glimmer—the slightest jewel—of hope.
And, as I’ve been told, rebellions are built on hope.