Updated: May 29, 2018
You know, things are not always what they appear to be. Take color for example, since I was a child black was my go to color, which was much to my father's dismay. I am a 1st generation American, born to 2 people that immigrated here separately with their families to escape the oppression of communism. They met here, fell in love and married. They were very strict and old fashioned about many things, I had boundaries and limitations that they set. Yet for as long as I could remember I was encouraged to be anything I wanted to be , didn't matter that I was a girl. In fact my dad wanted me to go to medical school but when I announced that I was going to art school they fully supported my decision! They also allowed me my weird in whatever way that expressed itself. I was allowed to be me always! So when at the ripe old age of 24 my dad asked asked to to join him for a 'discussion ' I knew something was up. He was an engineer and on the table was his design his plan. A piece of paper with 2 columns and subsets of columns the top was labeled pros and cons of city A and city B for ELaine to find a husband because at my age any 'norma'l 24 year old would be married. "There are 2 reasons you're not married yet , the 2nd is because of where you live, the 1st is because you always wear black only widows and nuns wear black" he said in his thick accent, after all that's how it was in the old country. Truth is I love all colors in all things! Nature is gorgeous in Her color diversity and combinations, but my clothes were and still are predominantly black, lol! I was not offended or angered by my father's declaration, I understood why he felt this way and why it was important to him, he wanted for me what he valued most.....family. So it was no surprise that 2 years later no-one was happier at my wedding than my dad! Now 32 years later, 3 sons raised and gone I celebrate the real gift that was given to me in my all to brief time with my dad and which I still have with the gift of enjoying with my mom.....complete and total acceptance of who I am, exactly the way I am. My husband is like that as well and we did the same for our kids. I see parts of my dad in each of our sons as well as their as their uniqueness, their own weird and though it's been many years I still miss my dad terribly, he lives on in them and in my heart. Things aren't always what they appear to be, random societal designations and meanings...wearing black is not always about sorrow or grief, sometimes it is a celebration of life and love.