November 2015


Paternal Memories: How to Loan a Pen.

I lost my father five years ago this coming February – this is not something I actually spend a great deal of time dwelling upon, but rather he comes to mind at some of the oddest moments.

When I least expect it, he pops into mind – environments where I don’t think I would have any reason to stop and think about him.

Like the last time I flew to the States: even though I am not required to fill out the immigration and customs form (I am registered for Global Entry), I take the time while sitting on the plane to fill it out in case I need it – better to only need to sign the thing than to fill it out completely. It’s also nice because it’s two or three minutes where I am forced to think about what is in my luggage and to ensure that I eat any of the food I have with me (or throw it away) since I do not want to take detours to agricultural inspection.

Father came to mind because as I put away my pen, one of the people sitting next to me asked to borrow it – she too needed to fill out the form.

And into my mind popped my Father: I remember him once explaining to a friend that when he loaned pens, he always kept the cap because it significantly increased the likelihood that the pen would be returned to him.

So as I handed over the capless pen, holding on to the cap, I could remember this moment when he was explaining it to his friend – we were sitting watching a Colorado Springs Sky Sox baseball game when some other person asked my father if they could borrow his pen – he said yes, but kept the cap.

And like my father, I got my pen back; only to loan it to the other person sitting in my row a bit later when he discovered that his pen had died.

I related this story to my mother a few hours later, safely stateside, safely visiting my Mom, only to have her tell me that it was she who taught this to my Father.

Some how it is fitting – this useful piece of knowledge that I thought was gleamed solely from my father actually has roots with my mother.

I really am a product of my parents.

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