Ben Franklin spoke: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
I have one of the greatest responsibilities being the father of two daughters. Along with their mother, I have to teach them values, skills, patience, and perseverance. In order to pull this fete off, I must use power and certainty, or knowledge. It is bad enough in my household that I strut through my home, proclaiming to “know it all.” I am pretty sure that my wife does not buy into my intuitive skills, but I am certain that my daughters believe I have more power than the great Wizard of Oz. The difference is that I do not hide behind a curtain.
Back when I was in school, decades ago, but well after they invented the chalkboard, you had two choices for lunch, pack the brown bag, or purchase at school with cash. Today, there is a computer program that not only allows you to debit your lunch payments, but, I can actually see what my daughters purchase for lunch. There are several choices that can be made. But when we are sitting at the dinner table, and to start conversation I ask, “soMadison, what did you have for lunch today?” Because she is more concerned with eating, I usually get brushed off with “I don’t remember.” I do not believe she is hiding anything from me, but this is one of the opportunities that I have to reinforce a lesson which I hope goes well into her teenage years – Daddy knows everything.
So I proceed to tell her what she had for lunch. There is a look of amazement, shock, and puzzlement as she is certain that “Daddy wasn’t in my school today – how could he know that?” This is not the only time I exert this skill. We can be in the car, and as I am looking in the side or rear view mirror, I may catch her doing something. Then I act as if nothing is happening, and then just blurt out what it is that I have seen her do.
I do possess the other skills of certainty that are often punch lines in regards to men. Only I know how to properly operate the television remote in the house. I do not stop and ask for directions. The list goes on.
But there are times, when I wish that I was not so certain about things. I strongly believe in intuition. I believe in my “gut feeling” nearly 95% of the time. This has been a benefit to me in taking educational exams, employment situations, and crossroads in life. There are two times that I wish that I had been wrong.
One of my favorite comedians is from the Blue Collar Comedian tour. His name is Bill Engvall. Engvall does this bit during his show as a tribute to “stupid” people called “Here’s Your Sign”. You are supposed to wear this sign to let people know you have a hard time catching on to things regardless how obvious.
For instance, one story he relates is how he remained late at work one evening when a co-worker questioned him “ya still here?” And Engvall would respond, “no, I left 10 minutes ago – here’s your sign”.
The first time I wish I had been wrong, my grandmother had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This was her second battle with the Big C, but a prognosis for ovarian cancer more times than not was not well. However, the surgeon explained to all of us, that he had removed all of the cancer and that the only thing left to do, was what he felt was some preventative chemotherapy. I don’t recall the drugs or dosages, but the treatment would last about eighteen months. Having been through cancer myself, something definitely didn’t feel right. Preventative therapy would not take that long. I raised the concern with my family, but it fell on deaf ears. Unbeknownst to me, my grandmother had instructed the doctor not to reveal the accurate prognosis or plans. She passed away less than a month later.
The second instance is when I arrived for a “doctor’s orders” nuclear stress test April 15, 2008. I was told it would take up the morning and most of the afternoon. I was the first one in, and the last one out. We all seemed to go through the same steps: get IV, dye injected, doplar photo of the heart done, get on the treadmill, another shot of dye, and another doplar photo. It is one thing when you watch people get seated in a restaurant before you, when you arrived a good half hour before they did, but I watched everyone leave who came in after me. And then the nurse came into the waiting room and told me that she was taking me back to meet with a doctor. I was certain something was wrong.