My love of research, science, music & art has come from my parents. They both worked very hard in order to provide for my brother and I. My mother is a visual artist who put that aside to work in service to the community through Girl Scouts of the USA since, in Cuba as a girl, she wasn't allowed to join. My father is a musician and futurist who made the choice to enter into service as a Marine and received the GI bill that afforded him with the means to attend college. After receiving his AA and marrying my mother he decided to work for the county as an accountant. They supported our curiosities no matter how fleeting or intense. My father always pointed at the shelves of books that he collected over the years whenever I'd ask him a question about anything. We spent weekends in libraries and eventually just at home watching science documentaries, PBS, science fiction & classic films. We always pointed out how much he resembled Sir Patrick Stewart and called him Picard which would make him smile shyly. Occasionally, we were treated to his soothing voice singing Peter, Paul and Mary songs while he played the guitar.
My dad was a book worm and agoraphobic/clausterphobic. In today's world he would most likely be diagnosed with being on "the spectrum". He is a complex soul and perhaps a little broken from childhood...but how else do we get to see the prism of possibilities from a source of light? My mother saw the prism within him behind his complex nature. They were both born before their time.
Recently, my father has been diagnosed with Dementia. He exists more and more in clouds of superimposed bits of memory. His face looks like a child at times...wonder, confusion and awe. It simultaneously breaks my heart and puts it back together again, over and over. It exhasts & stresses my mother in ways that she would never admit to but is evident in her losing her eyesight but never her love for my father. She is feisty and strong for everyone, an art that I have learned from her as I am the first in my immediate family to have graduated from University with not just a BA but also a Masters by research in addition to my career in the music industry. I'm not writing this to gloat or be boastful. It was hard work. They put in the work well before I stepped foot into adulthood. My acheivements are their acheivments too.
Creating a means by which my mother can make art, my father can make music and my daughter can dance with anything from planets to particles is all the passion I need to continue the work that I have been inspired to do since the first time I gazed in awe up to the heavens and down into a blade of grass as both my father and daughter do now.
Happy Fathers Day, Data. I'll make sure to keep you company in the clouds so we can sing along with the planets & particles.