The Gift of No

One of the most pivotal conversations between Dad and I occurred a lifetime ago.

The entire family was at the airport to wish my brother and I safe journey to the U.S.

Our sparse luggage were checked-in and we had time on our side.  And, so we leisurely waited at the airport.

This was before 9-11 and so the boundaries between travelers and well wishers were not nearly so well manicured.

As a young person it is so easy to get caught up in the spontaneous moments that bombards a young mind.  The feelings come rapidly and they slide away just as mysteriously.

Sometimes it is the first kiss, at other times it is the first drink, and in between so many other first experiences and tastes.

At that very moment, it was my first smoke.  And, so I asked Dad if I could have a couple of cigarettes.  He looked back at me, and asked whether I wanted to start smoking.

Life has its many turns and quirks.  And, though it is natural to argue otherwise, the Nos are sometimes the most affirmative Yeses in our shared journey to a well lived life.



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