How HIMYM saved me and my Dad
Anyone that knows me probably knows I'm a pretty big How I Met Your Mother fan. So for this one to work, you have to play along. As you read, pretend I'm Bob Sagat. Not that filthy stand up comedy Bob Sagat, the cool calm dad, Full House Bob Sagat. If not, the whole story will be ruined. Thank you.
Kids, the universe has a way of telling us when something has to be done. You can put it off, and put it off but that "thing" isn't going to go away by itself. Like a load of laundry staring you in the face. Like a sink full of dishes, or grass that's too high. My parents split up when I was 15 or 16, and I lived with my mom. My relationship with my dad wasn't awful, but wasn't the best either. We didn't see each other or talk a whole lot. My dad was a stern guy. Not a real, let's talk out our problems kind of guy to me. If I got in trouble at school, I was more afraid of what he would do, than worry about my detention.
Fast forward to about two and a half years ago. For the sake of not naming names, the next two characters in this story are Frank, and William, both of which are family members. So I go to a high school football game with Frank one Friday night. Frank turns to me and says "William was at my house the other day and told me your Dad said some suggestive things about your relationship, and your child on the way." I was absolutely floored. I couldn't believe it. Knowing our relationship wasn't the best in the first place. So I got angry. I was hurt, and pretty dumbfounded. People that know me also know I can hold a grudge like nobody's business. I didn't speak to my dad for a year, without even talking to him about it. I was done. This is one of my worst faults, avoiding things that need to be handled. I know this. I'm trying all the time to fix it.
So I'm sitting one day watching HIMYM and Marshall's dad dies of a heart attack. The gears in my head start spinning like a mouse on a wheel chasing a piece of cheese. Then... a few episodes later Barney's dad, who he never had a relationship with comes back into the picture. He's angry, he doesn't want to deal with him. Finally, someone I can get behind, and be angry with, instead of making me feel bad. Then, Marshall and Barney get together, and this happens.
Barney: Guys, get it through your heads, I am never gonna talk to my dad again.
Marshall: No, Barney. I'm never gonna talk to my dad again. But your dad is alive and he lives just down the road...
It was much more dramatic than just a few sentences. It was one of those moments of television that just slaps you in the face.
Life is just too short. I knew I had to. What if something happened to him? What if something happened to me? In my stubbornness it still took me a few days to get up the nerve, but I called him. After explaining to him he said, "that's it?" "That's why we haven't talked?" "That's not how that conversation went." I told him he was never someone I felt I could "talk" to about things. He said "well it's time we start." Finally a resolution after a year of hearing from everyone, "you just need to talk to him." So HIMYM didn't save my dad and I from a burning building, but probably saved our relationship, and turned something bad, back to good.
How easy is it to just react, and not think? How easy is it to just ignore something, and become complacent? We can find what we're looking for, if we're willing to accept it. We can find strength, inspiration, and hope. Sometimes it comes from the most unexpected places. A goofy tv show, a stranger, or even a Facebook post. I hope we all find what we're looking for.
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