My father was a simple man, growing up on a farm, not learning to speak English until he went to school when he was six. His life never got more complicated than he could handle, he was true to his faith and religion, loved his family. He was never embarassed or ashamed of his humble roots, always believing that he brought all of himself with him wherever he went, and the farmboy was just part and parcel of that. And he taught his children the same values, to never ever forget where we started from, never to lose the common touch, never to think that we might be better than other people because of life achievements or material possessions.
I have friends who no longer remember where they came from, are no longer willing to acknowledge that they didn't always have beachfront houses and river views, who have forgotten that they didn't always summer in the Hamptons (and the very best one at that). I have friends who have moved on to other circles more prestigious, more cool, more au courant.
And so does She, and She doesn't understand why these friends cease to call, She misses them, and feels the loss mightily, until I tell her what I truly think of them, that they've forgotten who they were, and are working hard to keep on forgetting, that they're ashamed of where they started from. She marvels at the fact that I'm never embarassed by anything about myself, that I am who I am, that I'm proud of whatever I have and whatever I can do, that when we lived in a railroad flat with failing heat, it was still my home. And the Boy has grown up the same way, with the same pride in whatever he has and whatever he achieves. I see it in him all the time.
My father, if he were still alive, would be as proud of me as I am of the Boy.
Earworm-Randy Newman, Last Night