Jane was sitting in a taxi, wondering if she had overdressed for the evening. She was on her way to receiving an award for “Employee of the Year”.
As she stared out of the window reminiscing about all the good things that had happened to her, she saw her dad rooting through the garbage dumpster. It was getting dark with blustery winds and steam coming out of manholes as she saw people hurrying along the sidewalks.
She was stuck in traffic just two blocks away from the conference where she was heading. Dad was just about 20 feet away. He had rags around his shoulders to keep out the chill and was picking through all the trash and loading them onto his truck.
She could see the childish glee in his eyes when he found something interesting that he liked in the dumpster.
His eyes were sunk deep in the sockets with the skin parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To people walking by, he probably looked like a ragged old man working hard to make ends meet.
AS he looked up, Jane was overcome with panic that he would call out her name and that someone who was on the way to the same awards night would spot them together and Dad would introduce himself and her secret would be out.
She slid herself down in the seat and asked the driver to take the next lane away from where her dad was standing.
Back home after receiving the award and soaking in all the flashlights that went with it, she returned home, still rattled from seeing her dad and the unexpectedness of coming across him, the sight of him happily moving the trash from the dumpster. She laid down and played some music to settle her emotions. She looked around the room and the luxury she had around herself. She had turned her apartment into a sort of place where a person would love to live.
The fact was that she never enjoyed the apartment without worrying about her dad who was still leading his life around filth and garbage and living in a tiny one-room apartment where he spent almost all his life taking care of Mom and her two siblings.
While she fretted about them, she was embarrassed by them too, and ashamed of herself for leading a luxurious life while her old parents were still working hard to earn their living and make ends meet.
What could I do? She lamented as Jane had tried countless times, but her dad would insist that they didn’t need anything, and all her mom would ask of her would be something as silly as perfume. They told Jane that they were living the way they wanted to.
After ducking down in the taxi so Dad wouldn’t see her, she hated herself, her luxurious apartment, clothes. She had to do something. She sent word through a friend that she wanted to meet mom and dad for lunch at their favorite restaurant.
Dad was sitting at the table carefully studying the menu as Jane arrived. Dad and mom had made an effort to fix themselves up. They wore the best they could from the wardrobe. Dad was looking tired after driving straight home and picking up mom after a hard day’s work.
“It’s our baby girl” they called out in unison. Jane kissed them both as she saw her mom emptying packets of sauce and some breadsticks into her purse. “a little snack for later” she explained.
Jane ordered some of her dad and mom’s favorites. “I’m worried about you”, said Jane. Tell me what I can do to help. I have earned enough in these years. “Tell me what it is you both need”. Well, mom thought for a while and said she could do with a visit to the beauty clinic, and dad, well he wanted a new pipe as the old one had really worn out quite a bit.
“Oh, come on, be serious,” said Jane. “I am talking about something that could help change your life for the better. Make you both comfortable.
“We are fine,” said Jane’s dad. It looks like you are the one who needs help.
“Come on dad, I saw you picking trash from the dumpster a few days ago.” “Why didn’t you say hello?” asked her dad.
“Well, I was too ashamed, dad. I hid.”
“You, see? That’s exactly what I’m saying. You are way too easily embarrassed. Your mom and I are who we are. Accept it.”
“And what am I supposed to tell people about my parents?”
“Just tell the truth,”. “That’s simple enough.”
There is no way that you can run away from your truth. Embrace it!