Staying for the Story

My dad has a big meeting on Tuesday. He’s been talking about it for months. Higher-ups will be flown in from overseas, there’s a minute-by-minute schedule for the day-long event, and half the company has been busy prettying up the company site for weeks on end. Flowers were bought. Walls were repainted. It’s the whole nine yards.

Having been at home for a few days, I tried to decide when to go back to Munich, and I realized: I really want to stay for the story he tells when he comes back from that meeting. I’ve already caught myself imagining it several times. “I wonder what’s gonna happen! What will Dad say at dinner the day after?”

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. My mom, my sister, and I have been part of this story for the better part of a year. Every week, dad would share with us their latest preparations. We would talk about mistakes in the making and whether the insane degree of attention to detail would actually be rewarded. We had a good laugh too. I even helped him a little bit with his 12-minute presentation — of course I want to know how the story ends!

My friends are asking me when I’m coming back to Munich. There’s a bunch of things I need to do there. I decided, however, to stay until Thursday. I want to be here for the conclusion of this saga.

When you care about someone, there’s no shame in staying around to see how their story unfolds. In fact, it’s one of the more honorable things you can do. Their story will become part of yours, and by the end of it, you’ll each have a new, distinctly colored piece in your life’s puzzle.

Often, the best gift you can give someone is to be present for the big moments in their journey. That’s why we attend weddings — and why you should absolutely stay for the story.