I see my mother everywhere. Though I never looked like her, I can now see a physical resemblance and so many of my qualities remind me of her. Not so for my dad. Everyone said I looked like him, but I no longer can see the resemblance. I never had the good fortune to get to know him, and he wasn’t part of my life long enough for me to emulate him in any way.
My father died when I was eleven, and he spent the last year of his life in the hospital. While his death was devastating, my mother dedicated herself to raising four independent children in a family-focused environment. She was an optimist, always telling us, “Something good comes out of everything.” Under her tutelage, I’ve spent my life looking for that silver lining.
So what lessons did I learn from my dad?
* Life is short so I’ve learned to cram as much living as I can into each and every day.
* Make good health a priority; if you don’t have your health, nothing else matters.
* Let everyone you love know how much you love them every single day. Don’t ever assume that people know how you feel.
* There’s no time like the present; don’t put off what you can do today.
* If you want something, whether it’s a relationship, a job, an education, or a trip, go for it now.
* Live your life with zest and fill your days with new people and new experiences.
* Don’t wait for the celebrations or achievements; find your happiness in the everyday moments in life, whether it’s that first cup of coffee, a walk with a friend, or the wonderful smells of dinner cooking.
When I think of my dad and the legacy he left me, I feel good. His life and death gave me the blueprint to live a happy and fulfilling life.Tags: grief, hope, signs and connections