Stories Told Around Cards

The setting:  our kitchen in January

The characters:  my parents, one of my sisters, and myself

The background: well, I will just start there…

My sister was home on holiday for the Christmas/New Year’s celebrations.  When she comes home, we spend every possible minute together.  That means all sorts of activities that do not fill a typical day or week, including late night movies.  On one such evening, we were trying hard to find a movie to watch, but nothing was tempting.  We landed on an old 70’s movie, Butterflies are Free (some things are just about the name), with Goldie Hawn and Edward Albert.  The movie was not good…we ended up turning it off and going to bed…but we loved Edward Albert!

Now, on to the whole reason I am sharing this little look into our lives…

The next evening my family decided to play a round of cards.  Canasta is our family’s game.  It is rare you will find us playing anything else.


We were all sitting around the table, laughing, talking, and playing cards.  My sister or I (cannot remember who) spoke a simple line from the film…communication between the two of us.  We laughed at how applicable the line was to the conversation (and about the shared secret – only the two of us truly understanding) .  But were immediately taken a back when my father referenced Butterflies are Free.  We were shocked.

“Dad, how did you know what we were talking about!?”  He did not even know we had stayed up to watch anything, let alone that film.  He then began to state the film’s credits, including the actor Edward Albert.

“We know…we watched it last night.  But how did you know what we were referencing?”

“Oh, I met Edward Albert on the set of Patton.  We had dinner together in Spain.”

The things you learn about your father while playing cards.  There is so much to my father’s (and my mother’s) life that I have not even begun to discover.  So many stories, adventures, experiences that I will never know or hear.

It is a reminder to me to ask questions.  To listen to what memories my father shares and to cherish them.  To take the time to sit with him and pull those stories out.  To better know my father and the life he has led – the life that made him who he is today.

*And now, if you want all the details of his dinner that evening in Spain, you will have to sit down with him yourself.



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