Posts Tagged ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

Jan

1

2014

The Secret Life of Richie Stanulwich

Filed under: Family, Pondering, Running

Today it’s 9 years since my dad died. Every New Year’s Eve, after watching the ball drop, I sit down and write a post for him. This year I knew I wanted to include a certain song in the post, so I toyed for weeks with the idea of writing it down ahead of time. No matter what I did,  I couldn’t quite make the words come together the way I wanted them to. I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to say–until I went to the movies tonight and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was amazing. And it brought it all together for me.

First the song…

It’s a Miracle by Barry Manilow

I keep this song on my run list and whenever it comes up I yell “Hey Daddy” at the top of my lungs and point to the sky. I’m embarrassingly loud but not really embarrassed at all. Of course, when I’m at the gym I give it up with a whisper, but he still gets a fist pump. It just feels right.

But why does this song remind me of him so much? Why does it pump me up every time I hear it? I think it’s because I’ve always thought of my Dad as having a secret life like Walter Mitty.

My dad was a gentle, complex and wonderful man who had all these crazy wants and dreams tucked away at his core, but he buried those wants and dreams  because he didn’t know how to balance them with being a good husband or a good father. He was responsible and obligated. He just did his jobs. He led his life the best way he knew how. Sometimes he zoned out.

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Just like Walter Mitty, my dad was a “ghost cat.”

(I won’t spoil it for you with an explanation of what that means–go see the movie.)

My world was a really good place because of all the choices my dad made and all the things he did for me, but I often wonder what he would have been like if he would have allowed himself more of the real life magic while he was here. But despite that, I’ve stopped thinking of him as having missed out. Now when I hear that song, I always get the strangest feeling he’s off having adventures and he doesn’t have to zone out to do it. I have an overwhelming sense he’s now joyful and he’s doing all the things  he never did before. He’s going to the most amazing places. This is how I picture him when we’re running together.

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When I hear that song, I know he HAS found his way home and I am always thankful that it’s still right next to me.

Happy 9th Anniversary Daddy. I heard you tonight…

“But the message here was plain to see
Believe me…”

Love’s Divine.

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