Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You think you know someone

You think you know someone, then suddenly they surprise you with a bit of info or an action that changes your perspective of them.

The person in this case is my Dad, who I have "known" all my life. (Not everyone can say that, so I felt the need to.) All my life is 52 years.

He is recovering remarkably quickly from a total knee replacement. Faster than I did, and I was almost half his age when I had mine knee done. After watching him walk on his first day home from the hospital I quoted my friend Lynda saying to him "You're a better man than I, Gunga Din." He was walking so well!

That's when he surprised me by reciting from memory whole paragraphs of the Rudyard Kipling poem! What? I never knew my Dad ever read any poetry! Growing up, both of my parents encouraged reading, but they themselves were too busy farming and raising children to read anything as 'frivolous" as fiction or poetry.

My Dad tells me he memorised "Gunga Din" during high school, not for any class, just for fun. Then he asked me if I had ever read "The Death of a Hired Man", by Robert Frost. I had not. Imagine my surprise when I discover the famous line------------- "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.’------------------------ My Dad had memorised a lot of of this poem, too. And retained it since the 1940's!

I won't assume that I know ALL about anyone again. This revelation changed my perspective of my Dad, ever so slightly. It made me even MORE proud of him.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Wow! That is so cool! Poetry is not easy, at least for me. I always wonder why they don't just say it with prose. Except for things like the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.
My dad surprised me as a kid because he had a copy of Orwell's Animal Farm! What a weird thing for my supposedly conservative father to have read...