And I've been saving a story my brother, Keith, told me back in November for just this day.
Keith's daughter, Dylan, and her boyfriend were sitting in his kitchen one evening doing math homework. Keith was milling around the kitchen, casually hearing but not really listening to them frustratedly work through a problem. Irritated at the snag they'd hit, and not really expecting an answer, Dylan blurts out,"Dad! What's the square root of 6?"
He immediately replied, "2.449."
He had to assure them that this really was the answer; he hadn't made it up. He knew it because of my dad. Dad ended every letter he ever wrote any of us with the square root of a number, the most famous of which was 6. This practice had its origin in his college days. Dad had relayed the story about a professor he had had at Lambuth College in Jackson, TN. Whenever that professor came into the class, he would go straight to the chalk board and write out a square root to a ridiculous number of places past the decimal. For instance:
I love this story.
I love that Dylan voiced the slumdog* connection.
I love the passing on of family history from one generation to another.
I love being reminded of my dad and his weekly letters. (and the $20 usually included)
I love being reminded of those numbers that were always somewhere close to the words, "love, Dad."
I'm smiling as I remember them.
I'm smiling as I remember him.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
*If you haven't seen the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, it's worth watching.