My Hero Wears Bandanas

My father is a character

He’s always hated conforming to someone else’s rules – he wants to be free to make his own rules

When he got his job as a physicist in the early sixties they told him he had to wear a necktie to work.

He hates neckties….with a passion…and he told his bosses that

They looked him in the eye and told him he had to wear something around his neck

So he tied a bandana around his neck and went to work

And a unique character was born

For the next thirty-odd years that he worked there he was the bandana guy

If someone new was around they were told, “Oh, you don’t know Ted? He’s the bandana guy,” and they instantly knew who he was

Unique, funny, stands out, a little crazy – yep, that’s my dad

And he spent his off time surrounded by girls – his beautiful wife and his four daughters, of which I am lucky to be one

We weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination but we were comfortable, we were accepted, we were free to be whoever we wanted to be and we were loved

We all knew that no matter who we became in life we would be loved

We all knew that we were unique in our own ways and we would be accepted

We were free to make our own choices, our own way, free to follow our hearts, free to follow our dreams and we knew that no matter where our unique paths took us, Dad would be there cheering us on

We were encouraged to be unique, to be whatever we wanted to be

Was he perfect?

Not a chance

He would hate if I said that he was – perfect means that there’s no room for improvement, no reason to keep trying

His patience was lacking but over the years we learned that was because he knew we could do so much better, he knew we could be so much more – so we always tried harder

He gave his love of nature to all of us

He gave us his love of music

He gave us his love of photography

For me, he gave me his love of writing

And more than anything he gave us his love of human beings – no matter what color they are, what sexuality they are. Whoever he met, if they were kind and good he’d treat them like the good friend he knew they would be.

That’s what resonates the most with me

Love one another, accept one another

It’s how my sister’s and I were raised

It’s how we raised our children

It’s how our children are raising their children

And it was taught to us by our hero…..who always wears a bandana

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