When my dad was 80 he noticed a piece of peeling wallpaper in the bathroom right by the ceiling. Being the independent kind of a guy he is, he headed to the kitchen for a chair. Why bother the handy man when you can do something yourself. With Elmer’s glue in hand, he climbed on the chair so he could step up on the vanity. The nine foot ceiling is a stretch for someone 5’8” even from the counter top.

Yep, he did. He toppled off the vanity hitting the chair and the door frame then the tile floor. Eighty years old and living alone he did what anyone would do. He grabbed a hand towel, put pressure on the giant gap in his head, and drove to my uncle’s house. Dad had promised to take him to the hospital to have tests run that morning. No need to change plans. He needed to visit the ER anyway. My aunt decided she’d better go along. But Dad insisted on driving holding the blood soaked towel on his head. And they let him!

A couple of hours and 40 stitches later he was ready to go home. He drove. He emailed and told me what he had done. He said if he had hit anything but his head he would have really hurt himself. I think he might be right.

As a baby, the first phrase Travis strung together was, “All My Byself!” He was determined and independent right out of the chute. Just like my dad, he thrives on challenge. But somewhere along the way bullheaded morphed into focused and purposeful.

I think the strong-willed gene skips one generation. Jim would most likely disagree. I’m gradually figuring out asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Sometimes it’s just easier for me to do something than explain what I need done. I’m sure when it’s all taken apart, lurking at the bottom is a fear it won’t be done like I think it should be done. There’s probably a disorder name for that.

Meanwhile, I’m tackling the challenge of learning the art of delegation. I’ve promised Jim if I can’t do it I’ll ask for help. Otherwise, I’ll get it done … “All My Byself.”

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