Good Morning Tred!
When I was growing up, it was rare that I would see my dad in the morning. He was usually off to work in the fields well before mom got me up. Mom was persistent on most mornings, but if there was nothing going on she usually let me sleep. This was with the understanding that if you didn’t get up by 10:00 there would be no breakfast. The only problem was…there was usually something going on.
On the occasion that I did see dad as I meandered down the steps, he would always greet me with a formal, “Good morning Tred!”. “Morning dad” I would say with a sleepy smile. When I was a kid that seemed a little strange to me. I’m his son, yet the greeting seemed as if we were quite distant. For one thing, who was Tred and how did I get his name?
I guess that you’d have to know my family to understand that everyone has a nickname. And I do mean everyone. That goes for uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, employees. Heck, even the stray cat has a nickname. Dad’s nicknames were usually different than the ones my brothers doled out. Thank goodness for that. Mine just so happened to be Tred.
As I get older and have kids of my own I realize the importance of greeting someone. It’s there first interaction with you and let’s them know that you’re approachable. There’s nothing like greeting someone with a “hello” or “good morning” followed by there name. I’m a relationship guy and I like to know people’s names. Most people think I’m weird but my contention is that we have names for a reason. Whether you’re my waitress or the guy from work. It forms a connection when those words are spoken.
During the past 8 months, I’ve tried to maintain the person that I am. I try to greet people as I always have. I’m not one to use sayings like “not bad for a Monday”, “I could be better” or “I’m just here”. I want people to know that I’m positive regardless of how I feel at that exact moment. Some people may think that I’ve deceiving others. But, most people don’t really want to see your “little black rain-cloud.” They want to hear the good news.
My dad is 85 and I don’t recall him ever being in a bad mood. (except when I was a teenager) I’m sure that he has been, but he never let on to me. You know my story about not driving for 8 months. He hasn’t been able to drive in 15 years! Do you remember me telling about the Wagner smile? He invented it!
Having a positive attitude allowed me to be who I am. It’s helped me to get out of bed, get out of the house and even get behind the wheel. The last one is still nerve-racking, by the way. It’s allowed me to go in public for the first time. It’s like the saying goes, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t. Either way, you’re probably right.” Pessimists aren’t fun to be around, so don’t be one.
Some people claim to be bad with names. I’m not sure if that’s true. Maybe they just need to try harder. Now that I think of it, my dad has told me the story behind “Tred”. I just can’t recall it. There’s something we’ll need to discuss over Thanksgiving dinner.