My Dad Taught Me Freedom

Silly Mikey

[My Dad passed away on Tuesday, December 4th 2012, I wrote this article in tribute to my Pops, Mike Coday, Sr., shortly after his passing around Christmastime.]

My Dad was a singer…

He was good at other things too, but he only ever wanted to sing… or at least that’s the impression remembered best by me.

Being saddled with a wife and little mouths to feed, he did what any true singer would do… he taught them to sing, too.

Over and over he would rehearse his team. The spinning reel-to-reel flipped back and forth until each song was strong enough to perform for pay.

When concerts were booked, or at least enough to justify the first tank of gas, the sound equipment was loaded, and down the road we’d roll.

From the edge of his motel bed, Dad would thumb the yellow pages cold-calling gigs to fill the schedule or sometimes just to get home.

And home we would eventually get… tucked safely in bed and no worse the wear. Each tours’ end like a great adventure closed in a children’s chapter book.

As an adult with a family now myself, the terror of caring for my own recalls those seemingly simpler days.

Kids sleep tonight with the halo of Christmas still glowing fresh on their face… as I lay awake in bed feeling what I now believe is much the same as my Father felt before me.

Why do I insist on doing what I love when there’s no room to be wrong?

What happens if I’m wrong? Don’t my wife and kids deserve all the comfort and security I can possibly give?

Deep down we know we’re only as safe as our next sale, next claim, next adjuster’s appointment. Exhilarating and depressing, this high-stakes game turns up or down by the day.

I have no desire to sing, but maybe you’ll understand me when I say, “I only long to live free.”

Freedom to write my own paycheck…

Freedom to live outside the corporate cube…

Freedom to be what it is I hope to become.

Do you know what I mean?


P.S. If you have one more minute, read about the simple things.