I found my dad the perfect Father's Day present.
It would be a mere book to most people.
But for my dad, it's the perfect gift to a dad from his daughter.
A daughter who is a lot like him in many ways---same eyes, same dry sense of humor, same gift of seeing the worst possible scenario in every situation. Not everyone can do that.
Walking across a bridge---stay near the edge so we can grab on when it breaks.
Riding on a monorail---how are we going to respond if the door opens in the middle of the track.
Roller Coasters---hunker your head down as protection against falling items.
Floating in the water---we both see the view of our legs from the underwater video camera that is filming the fish/shark spying our yummy feet.
Flying on an airplane---we aren't afraid of crashing. We're afraid of surviving the crash and floating alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Bungee Jumping---wouldn't dream of it.
Parachuting---only for dummies.
Some people in our family make fun of us for our pessimism. We just smile and hold on to our notion that things do happen.
The book I found him is called Amazing Stories of Survival: Tales of Hope, Heroism, & Astounding Luck.
A parachute didn't open and the woman fell 14,000 feet onto a mound of fire ants that stung her 200 times.
A man jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge...and survived.
A woman attacked by a tiger.
A girl grabbed and drug under by an alligator.
A father stranded with his children in a snowstorm.
A farmer caught in a silo of soybeans.
A young girl attacked by a shark.
A group of sailors floating in the ocean after a shipwreck.
A dad and his sons trapped in a cave.
Stop telling us this stuff can't happen. It does. My dad and I might be the only ones prepared for these things.
This book opened my eyes to several things that I hadn't properly worried about. I'd never thought about getting stuck in a silo of beans. That one might keep me up tonight. Only my dad will appreciate this book. We could have written it together.
Here's what I wrote on the front inside cover:
Never let anyone tell us that the things we think of when everyone else is "having fun" can't happen. This book is filled with proof. The stories are about the things that only you and I ponder. Is it truly luck, Dad, to live through a parachute-less fall and land in a mound of fire ants?
Keep the faith and be encouraged that where other's see the "unlikely"--we see the "possibility." BTW, a friend told me that optimists live up to 8 years longer than pessimists. I figure that you and I can't have much longer on this earth if that's true. Thank goodness we know where we are going.
I love you, Dad. I hope neither one of us ends up in a book like this. It's only fair that these things would happen to the optimists.