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Ready when you are, C.B.

March 17, 2012

Today marks two months since my father’s departure. It seems like both the shortest and longest time. Short in the sense that it’s still so raw, and long in that I can’t recall how many times I’ve picked up the phone to call him, only to stop myself. I feel like I’ve been doing that for a lifetime.

I have listened to his messages more times that I can count. I’ve memorized them all. And since I’d never deleted a single one, I can go back and listen again and again. I’m so grateful I have them. So sad I won’t have any more. So terrified if anything were to happen to these recordings. It’s such a comfort to hear his voice.

And on that note, I thought I would share something my dad often said to me, at the start of each of our runs together. There was a period of time when my dad was in remission, and we ran together as often as we could. I would most times have already gone for a run in the morning, but if he wanted to go after I’d finished work, I never said no. He would pick me up from work, and we’d drive to my house, where he would bring his gym bag and emerge from my bathroom two minutes later, lacing up his sneakers as quick as you could imagine. He was so happy to be out there, running.

My dad always let me keep the pace, and he’d say “Ready when you are, C.B.!” before we took off. For those who don’t know, C.B. is director Cecil B. DeMille. And in the legendary story, during a fantastically expensive battle scene that required four cameras pointed at the set, (a take that could only be shot once), everything managed to go wrong. Example: Camera 1 – broken film. Camera 2 – dirt on the lens. Camera 3 – a tower had fallen on it. And camera 4? Camera 4 was up the hill. C.B. shouted to the cameraman, hopeful something had been recorded. The cameraman shouted back “Ready when you are, C.B.!”.

This struck my dad as wildly funny. He loved stories of things going awry. “Can you imagine?”, he would ask. “If that happened to you?”.

At the end of every run, my dad would finish up with 100m strides. He wouldn’t even tell me when he was going to start them, but he’d suddenly take off down the street, at a speed I had never seen before. I would hear the whoosh of his jacket to my right and he’d be off. I would chase him down the street, laughing. I still finish with strides.

Ready when you are, C.B.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 1:26 pm

    SUCH a beautiful story SST! I has tears in my eyes. xo

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