Today is my father’s birthday. His name was Robert Wesley Corbin. Were he still of this world and not in the heavenly plain he would be turning 72 years old. The last birthday we all celebrated with him was his 68th and it was a good day. We were all together at my parents’ house enjoying a good meal and great times. I still smile thinking of that day though it is bittersweet.
My father was a brilliant man. He stored so much knowledge in his mind it still amazes me. He knew all about wars from the Civil War to World War II and he was very big into airplanes, trains and battleships. Ask him a question and he’d have an answer, even if it wasn’t always the answer you were looking for. During games of Trivial Pursuit he was great at all the history questions but he got frustrated with the other “trivial” things dealing with sports or entertainment. He’d grumble out loud “why would anyone know that??” while I boggled at the fact that he knew what general led what historical attack on what day.
My father served in the Air Force and worked on the big cargo planes. He worked at Xerox as a mechanical/electrical engineer for most of his career. He was a great problem-solver and earned many patents dealing with the inner workings of copiers. I remember he used to ride a Moped to work when I was little and I’d always sit at the window to wave goodbye in the morning.
I was Daddy’s Little Girl and my father and I were very close. He went to all my horseback riding lessons for several years before taking up riding himself. He was, of course, very good at it because my father excelled at any challenge presented him. He was always there for me without fail and he always saw the potential in me. For me, the bond between father and daughter meant that he loved me unconditionally, flaws and all, and I know how lucky I am to have experienced that love.
One of my father’s favorite suggestions when faced with a problem was to approach it from a different angle, a different perspective. That lesson has been invaluable in my life and he was right, there’s always a solution if you just think a little differently. I’m great at thinking differently, just ask my close friends. They’ll tell you that my mind works in creative, unique and puzzling ways. I got that from my dad along with numerous other amazing gifts.
My father’s spirit is never far from me. He knows that I am a bit lost without him and that sometimes I stumble in the dark. But he’s always there with a sign to reassure me that I’m on the right path or a subtle kick in the rear to correct my course. I believe that he’s looking out for me by making sure that I’m surrounded by indescribably loving family and friends that understand and accept all my quirks just like he did. I don’t take anything for granted anymore and I see every day as a new blessing full of unknown adventures. We’re having an adventure, Dad, we’re always having an adventure…