Bill Burr’s Netflix show ‘F is For Family’ was an eye-opener.
It is a show based in ’70s America that features a dysfunctional white family who constantly traumatize each other and barely manage to stick together. Despite having the occasional over-the-top grossness, the show is hilarious and really well written.
I loved the show but Bill Burr’s portrayal of Frank Murphy was so good that it hit too close to home.
The show transported me back to my own childhood several times very effectively. I grew up in a dysfunctional family and spent a significant part of my life blaming my dad for everything. I used to think that if I had a unicorn for a dad, who shot rainbows out of his butt, then my life would be vastly different. I don’t believe this anymore.
Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. – Jim Carrey
I lost my dad last year. It’s funny how a TV show made me understand him a lot better than I did before.
I love my dad and I am grateful for the gifts that I received from Appa.
1. A life of privilege
My dad grew up in abject poverty in post-independence India. He was the eldest of 6 children, facing times when he wasn’t sure where his next meal would come from. I could run an entire blog with, “My grandpa was so broke” jokes.
Appa started working at age 17 and worked hard for 41 years ensuring that we never faced such dire circumstances. We were always provided for, had the best education, and had the opportunity to live our best life.
2. The gift of laughter
It’s safe to say, that my dad was the funniest man I knew. He could light up a room with his anecdotes and impressions. He showed me the joy of giving laughs. People still talk about his one-liners all the time.
Life is ridiculous and Appa showed me the value of laughing with people along the way, over and over.
3. The value of connection
“I know it’s you. You just ate 5 minutes ago. Don’t assume that you’ll fool me if you change your voice”
My dad said to one of his crow buddies. I always thought this was silly. I would say, “Dad, why do you talk to them? It’s not like they can respond or understand you even.” He replied, “Oh they understand me very well. They are all crooks! They think they can walk all over me.”
And he was right!
One fine morning last year, my dad had just finished his breakfast. Two hard-boiled eggs and toast. He had left the yolks to feed the crows. He stepped away for a moment to get water, and one of these “crooks” flew into the living room and “stole” the yolk.
My dad’s only reaction was, “Arre!!” and we both started laughing.
My dad’s relationship with crows showed me that you shouldn’t take life seriously. We get so caught up in what others think of us that we forget how to live our own lives.
There’s no one like you. Own it!
In his final years, my dad was a happy crow whisperer. My dad loved animals and he loved people. He touched so many lives and helped as many people as he could. His life was the perfect example of the value of connection.
When my dad passed away last December, one of his friends stopped by and started cawing. I gave him food but he ignored it and continued cawing. It felt weird but it almost seemed like he was saying,
“Where is he? I haven’t seen him in a while.”