Dad, you’re lucky you weren’t here to witness the extreme polarizing tension in our country. Although, knowing you, you would have put an adorably funny spin on it which would have made me feel like everything was okay.
On the anniversary of my dad’s death 6 years ago, I was thinking about him. My dad always made me laugh. He’d march through the house singing at the top of his lungs: Iiiiiiiiii love a parade… the beat of the drum… rummy tum tummmmmmmmm (or that’s what I thought he was singing).
Copacetic… or was it?
His favorite word was “copacetic.” I was 5 and knew the meaning of the word; and his tone when he would say it: happy, chipper, or maybe just accepting—I’m not sure.
I had to look the word up now that I was writing about it. I didn’t know it was slang—one of the definitions is, “It’s okay, cool, groovy” which made sense, given the times back then. This made me think about the correlation between the ‘60s and ’70s and the state of the world now—turbulent. Since my dad was naturally optimistic, copacetic would have been an appropriate word to use.
Maybe this was how my dad was covering up for some underlying troubles. Also being uncertain times, my dad and mom were probably experiencing angst with all the changes around them.
Is everything copacetic? It’s hard for some of us to expose our true feelings while putting on our best, positive face possible (yes, like social media), especially parents. Parents’ protective nature provides their children a safe haven from life’s unpleasant circumstances. For the most part, it works… on the surface.
I was a kid and knew about the Vietnam war, but didn’t understand what it meant. All I remember was the super cool peace sign necklace my sister gave me. And the top 100 countdown songs of the decade on New Year’s Eve, dominated by the Beatles, of course. Life was just normal to me.
But life was not normal around us. There were gas shortages, assassinations, and nuclear threats to our country. Enough to make you notice your parents’ angst while watching the news. (Sound familiar?)
What does all this mean?
Examine a lifetime, like my dad’s for instance. You know they have been through decades of changes. Stock market crash, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, etc. Sometimes it may feel like the end of humanity, but in the long run, it resolves and transforms into something else that’s significant. This is life!
As I say, it’s a blip in time. I’m not suggesting dismissing what’s happening in the world—what’s occurring now is very serious. What I am saying is, it’s also life changing. Look at all that we’ve been exposed to recently which has helped to create a new understanding within ourselves; within society. It’s the way we perceive people, the meaning behind our judgments, and the way some of us have developed a deeper inner awareness that defines our new understanding of things. Life has changed.
When we step outside ourselves, we are given a broader scope of overall comprehension.
Rather than get caught up in the minutia of day-to-day issues, try to recognize the accompanying emotions and not get caught up in them. Take a look at someone’s life for example, and notice that one event leads to the next, to the next, and so on.
Today, would my dad say things are copacetic? Now that we’re adults, probably not. But, he would say, “Just wait. Someday they will be.”