lac mahon, la peche, qc.

lac mahon, la peche, qc.
photo by graham law.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

chicken or fish?

during the last few years of dad's life, my job was driving to toronto so i could simply take him out for dinner, which was not so simple. we had a pretty definite and somewhat complicated routine.

firstly, he'd check the weather. he wouldn't look outside or step out onto his balcony. he'd check on the computer. then the process of getting his coat on would begin. the zipper was always an issue. but once he was all bundled up in his big old coat, favourite fur hat and leather gloves, we'd take the elevator down to the heated garage, get in the car and drive to the mall. we'd park in the heated garage and then, lastly, take the elevator up. we would never actually go outside.

we'd always go to the same restaurant and, while he carefully looked the menu over, he'd ask: "you eat chicken don't you?" "no dad," i'd say. "i've been vegetarian for 30 years - as you know." then he'd look up over top of the menu and say: "fish?" "no dad. don't worry about me. plenty of choices here." he'd send the waiter away because he wasn't finished reading the menu and then, eventually, he'd order the same meal he odered every time.

during our meal, during one of those last dinners, during those last few years, old dad remarked out of the blue: "you know, there's still one thing that bothers me about you." "oh yeah?," i said smiling. 'here we go,' i thought. "and what would that be?" "it bothers me that you believe in reincarnation." i was a bit taken aback by that. "dad, i don't recall ever saying a word about that concept and i know nothing about it." "no," he continued. "but YOU PEOPLE all believe in reincarnation." i just kinda shook my head and said: "well, all i know is, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, i hope to be born again as your son." then, as he waved to the waiter to complain about something or other, he remarked matter-of-factly: "you think you're so smart."

it may not have been during that particular meal, perhaps another, that i asked the old guy what his idea of god was. but, i do recall his answer very clearly. after a few moments' thought he said: "the best i've ever come up with is that god is the power that makes the grass grow."

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