47: Crazy Curtains

47: Crazy Curtains

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad

Crazy Curtains

A daughter is a gift of love.

~Author Unknown

It is a moment in time, engraved into my mind: The time my father ironed my crazy curtains.

My father and I are both only children, kind and tenderhearted with big, radiant smiles designed to put others at ease. Perfectionists with strong work ethics, we put our hearts and souls into each and every endeavor we undertake. And with our similar dispositions, we both have lifelong struggles with depression. Yes, I am my father’s daughter, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A year or so ago, life just felt crazy. I could feel those all-too-familiar clouds of depression rolling in. I needed a pick-me-up and decided that making new curtains would be just the thing to distract me and lift my spirits. Wanting to bring hope and happiness into my living room, I bought some crazy, quirky, bright-and-shiny fabric. During a weekend when my husband and children were out of town, my parents came over to help me make the curtains. When they arrived, my mother, optimism personified, entered the room as a woman on a mission. Sewing machine in hand, she was ready to tackle this project. Behind her stood my father. Now I will tell you, my father can relate to me unlike any other person on the planet. I looked into his eyes, and he knowingly nodded.

For hours, we worked on the curtains. Measuring and cutting. Sewing and hanging. And ironing. I recall the moment with clarity. Noticing that my father had not spoken in a while, I turned to find him ironing my curtains with painstaking precision. And I watched. This retired Special Agent, with his great tales of high-speed chases and espionage cases, of breaking organized crime rings and being on Secret Service detail to protect presidential candidates, ironed my crazy curtains.

As kindred spirits, prone to the same affliction, we’ve spoken before about the ways we get out of our moods. Exercising, reading, napping, and journaling have all been known to alleviate our symptoms. Reaching out to others, focusing on gratitude, and retelling funny stories are also some of our favorites. Yet on this day, he inspired me without saying a word. With his two hands, he tenderly worked on the delicate textile. Slowly and methodically, he turned the crumpled pile into crisp sheets. For him, it was a labor of love, and I received it as such.

For the past year, each and every time I look at the curtains, I smile. Not only because of their whimsical pattern, but also because of the memory that is evoked when I see them. I recall feeling supported, and understood, and loved . . . when my dad ironed my crazy curtains.

~Michelle Sedas

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