When I was around seven or eight I remember driving a long distance in the red station wagon with my family. We were going to a regional conference for church. There would have been six kids in the car climbing back and forth over the red pleather seats. Dad was driving and Mom held one of the little guys in her lap in the front seat and the California sun was low on the horizon on the bleached out freeway. I was writing in my little pink journal and chuckling to myself because I was getting my first taste of thinking I was pretty clever.
I leaned over the bench seat and stuck my head between my parents and read them my entry and do you know what they did? They threw their heads back and laughed and laughed and laughed. They were proud and impressed and entertained. It is one of the best memories that I have. And do you know what it was I had written about? I wrote about The Golden Kiss.
I wrote about all of the things I aspired to do and then I threw in this sarcastic aside about how I would probably get a Golden Kiss for doing them. You see, my dad was always handing out Golden Kisses. If you obeyed, you got a Golden Kiss. If you pleased him, you got a Golden Kiss. He even bribed with Golden Kisses.
"If you get this done you will get a reward"
"I'm finished Dad"(anticipating)"what do I get?"
"You get..."(with great fanfare)"The Golden Kiss!"
" Aw Man, that's it?"
Yep. That was it. A kiss. But over time it began to mean something. It meant that he was "showering you with praise". It meant he was proud. It meant he was impressed. It meant he was entertained. It meant he appreciated you. It meant he loved you.
At his funeral each of his children gave a tribute to him and my brother Marc gave him The Golden Kiss. What a great idea that was! I wish I had thought of it. How completely perfect.
My father had a Golden Kiss for almost everyone he ever met. He just loved people. And he wanted people to love him which, I think, was particularly endearing. Let me just say, he was never stingy with praise and it felt good to be around.
The Golden Kiss is the ultimate prize.(They also make great gifts if you are low on cash.) It means somebody is proud of you. It means somebody is impressed by you. It means somebody is entertained by you. It means somebody appreciates you. It means somebody loves you.
So I have decided that I would like to start handing these babies out. And as soon as I figure out how to make a button out of The Golden Kiss icon you all will have an opportunity to get one for your own webpage or blog or even a framed one for your home. You might have to obey me. You might have to please me. And I just might bribe you with one, but you can get one, and I promise I won't be stingy with 'em. Didn't I tell you there would be prizes?
I bet you had no idea it would be the ultimate prize. You are so lucky. And so was I.
A Golden Kiss to Ric, for all the Golden Kisses.
We miss you.