Who and What Can You Count On?


Image Description: A blue jay has its back turned, and there’s a great a great view of the blue jay’s tail.

Good morning, Blog Readers,

Even in the midst of this zany time, I hope that you had some rest, relaxation, and fun over the weekend.

Time moves in an odd sort of way right now, doesn’t it? I keep returning to two clips in my mind from two TV shows: 1) “What is a WeekEND?” from Downton Abbey 2) Jeremy Bearimy from The Good Place. Coronavirus Time sometimes feels especially slow and sometimes feels especially fast. Things that were three weeks ago sometimes feel like three months ago.

 What do you hold onto? Not just with time, but with expectations?… hopes?… personal convictions?… a formational sense of who you are?… a foundational sense how you are when things are topsy-turvy? And… Who do you hold onto? And who holds onto you during this zany time?

As I’ve written here a number of times, David Roth is one of the most foundational, influential people in my life. Not David Lee Roth of Van Halen. 🙂 But David Nelson Roth. He and Amy Roth became parents for me when I was making that turn between high school and college. I didn’t live with them, nor were any adoption papers signed. They just said, “You’re our 4th kid.” And I was. I was their bonus kid, and they were my bonus parents.

David sadly died 11 years ago from cancer. But here’s a thing he used to say to me all the time. It was a silly quote, and I’ve written about it here before. But it’s a really lovely one, and I offer it to you again during Coronavirus Time

 “Remember well and bear in mind, that a jay bird’s tail sticks out behind.”

Well… what does that mean?

I only point to the kinds of things David would always say after he offered me that quote.

“Remember well and bear in mind, that a jay bird’s tail sticks out behind.” Then after a short pause, he would add, “There are some things you can always count on.” Then after another pause, he would add. “There are two people in New Albany, Indiana who love you very much.”

They were a jay bird tail. There’s only one way a jay bird tail is ever going to point, and you can count on it. And there are people we can count on too in ways that are steadfast. After all, here I am, sharing a quote from my Chosen Dad who died 11 years ago. He’s still speaking to me. And now to you.

And there are people in [you could name a variety of places] who love you very much.

And you too can be a jay bird tail.

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