When I wrote The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom in 1995, I dedicated it to my Dad who, at the time, was dying of lung cancer.
He attained no formal education, and ultimately acquired nothing of what this world causes "secure," but he was one of the wisest and "richest" people I ever knew.
He used to say things like, "Anything tastes good when you're hungry," and "It's all nice when it's new," which are two of his quotes that I included in my Kung Fu Book of Wisdom dedication to him.
But both he and Mom always knew the deal.
They both loved and understood Star Trek, and they both loved and laughed at Seinfeld.
You have to be intelligent to appreciate science fiction and humor.
I remember when I realized just how intelligent my father was. We were watching Star Trek: The Next Generation (which he really did not prefer to the original Trek series; another sign of his intelligence!), and the scene involved Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFaden), both of whom were behaving erratically. At that point, my father turned to me and said, "Is it something in the atmosphere, Herbie J? Is that why they're acting that way?"
I glanced back to him in awe and astonishments and said, "Yeah...Dad. That's right. It's something in the atmosphere."
My father was intelligent after all, and I was the ignorant one for never fully appreciating his or my Mom's wisdom when they're alive. Certainly, in caregiving for them in their later years, I loved and appreciated them as much as I could. I just wished I would have done more of that while they were both healthy and raising me and my sister.
But I know they're watching over me now.
And meanwhile, to this day, I quote both of them, or utilize their insight, even in simple every day ways.
Things like, my father saying that Tide is the best laundry detergent. I've tried them all - and he was right - it IS!
Or how my Mom used to tell me that Chiquita Bananas are the best brand of bananas and she was right: they ARE!
But more than anything, whatever good that lives inside me today, was placed there by Heaven - through my parents.
So, truth is, my PARENTS were the BEST - and remain so - IN Heaven...as my guardian angels, helping me in ways there were unable to do so while on Earth.