Those who are rare are most memorable. What begins a life and leads its vigor is a wealth of factors. Shattering the concept of mundane is how my dad was mapped to be. I envision my father’s bursting onto the breathing scene akin to Clark Kent’s supreme fast runs amongst the fields or his giant leaps across the land flying above wide gaps of air. There was always going to be a special difference with this one. For some of us, it’s not enough to simply live. We must seek further, strive harder, want greater evolution of our minds and those around us, and love louder. These are merely a few tips from the spirited trails of cruising the universe with my favorite ‘Wild Man’, ‘Papa Jim’, the coolest of Kuhlman’s I’ve ever known. Sometimes the cracks of coming into being human are so passionate that breaking the mold is their only way. This story is a little language shedding some extra Father’s Day shine about the first man in my life.
God’s sense of humor lands upon each of us through plenty of intents. I mean, who’d have thunk that yet another person deserving of a male son would have bestowed two doting daughters instead. Yet, ambiguity allowed to grow on you usually turns into charm. My sis and I are blessed to share a man who genuinely champions us winning at the life game. He’s proven that taking chances is the secret sauce for leveling up. Whereas one might not eternally rise to the occasions they’ve dared, you never go farther without initial attempt. Carting his Chicago roots down yonder to help create and carve out his impressive expertise at the University of South Carolina’s international business school was a singular feat in itself that plays to present moment. Jim Kuhlman’s brought as much culture to that state as the White House has assisted in all its years. This terrific transition man has never hesitated to keep teaching.
Gosh, if I could only access indefinitely the gobs of information inside my father’s brain! His example sets my fondness for uniqueness. Learning has been an ingrained value point for his living from the start. He comes from a lineage of thinkers, instructors, creators, inventors even. His mom’s dad Gus battled Edison over patent rights to the coin-operated telephone box and lost since Edison became Bell Telephone. Oddly enough, decades later his dad David Luther’s Chicago Decorating Company got the contract to special coat the Chicago area Commonwealth Edison nuclear energy plant. The revelatory elegance to ironies of livelihood not lost on our heritage in the least. Guiding it all for me has been this professor of my dreams. He’s challenged me to believe beyond my reach and reap the lessons no matter the outcomes. Especially, he’s been there to aid in the broken pieces when I’m strewn so sorely I can’t make sense of straight.
Oh, the loves my dad has gifted me amount to a bountiful bundle. Of innumerable reference are his lavish romps around global places that I’ll by no means tire of hearing. He’s taught me and countless students from near and faraway places the profuse riches of understanding history, it’s economics to politics. Developing out of the box, while simultaneously working within existing frameworks to shape a stronger future is his fashionable intellect. Pointedly, how the repetition of our narrative will full throttle so long as we ignore positive revolutionary changes (ahem, #blacklivesmatter). He birthed the water-loving mermaid that I am. He ignited my boundless adoration of sailing by literally showing me those fine lines of freedom when you let the winds have your back so well. Because of him, I can change my own oil or car tires when needed. I can balance a checkbook, plus stay away from debt. A favored education of my father is that cuddling cats is a method to soothe so many thoughts or feelings, not to mention a joy when you’re already on high.
I can and do thank my father for an infinite array of things. I admire that he grills a steak better than a lot of the fanciest restaurants I’ve dined in. He’s an ace tennis player I can only hope to beat one day. He’s passed along to me his hold of fitness in great regard. He encouraged my fishy swimming sprees to diving deep precision. I’m deliciously satisfied for him raising me on ample doses of ocean to sea to lakes, and anything of Mother Nature’s majesty in between. I appreciate the eye-flattering waves of my hair his DNA amplified in me. My affection for world music is immersed in his exuberant delivery of jazz and blues. Due to his movies-schooling, it’s no wonder that a perfect date for me is basking beneath starry nights (Star Wars babe) with a handsome man of mysterious intrigue looking to save some part of the globe (James Bond series). My wry humor drips easily from his training. I’m grateful for my dad’s belief in the power of an empowered woman. His promotion of my independence has eternally made me feel skillful at tackling any corner of the planet I’ve ever ventured to dream I should meet. With any mistake, I trust his wisdom to catch my falls to failures by adding gulps of grace. He’s the most important man that directs the essence of my happiness. I’m forever a daddy’s girl.
May your father figures in whatever form grant you greatness to which you reciprocate.