It’s been a little over two years since I said goodbye to my father.
He went to bed one Friday night and never woke up.
When I saw my phone ring the following morning I thought something was wrong, but assumed it had something to do with my mother as the call came from his cell.
I tried to answer, but missed the call.
I tried to call back but no luck. I noticed a message had been left on my answering machine so I clicked to check it.
“Dad just died. Please call as soon as you get this.”
When I was able to get through to her, I told my mother I would be on the first plane home…and 5 days later we said goodbye to the man who had been instrumental in my upbringing, my father (or Dad as I knew him).
It was toughest on my mother. She lost her companion of close to 40 years.
I cried, but knew that I had to keep it together.
I had three people to take care of – my mother, my wife and my young son who was only 1 at the time.
My father died a happy man. The day before he had won his final golf game with his 3 best friends. He had gotten to see his only son grow up and met his grandson the previous X-Mas as well as seen him on weekly video chats.
If you’ve got to go, I guess that’s the way I’d want to go; knowing that I’d done well in life – Raising a family, living well, and enjoying all our crazy adventures.
Life is full of joy; with some pain thrown in for good measure.
The passing of my father was one of those moments I knew I would have to face one day, I just wish it hadn’t come so soon.
But isn’t that always the case.
So many people are in denial about the future.
They don’t see the problems coming their way in spite of signs all around them.
There are those who deny that they’re in financial trouble. Some deny their health issues and yet others deny their relationships are in trouble. And as often the case, people only find out when it’s too late for anything to be done.
Hindsight lets us see where we made mistakes, but it doesn’t give us the power to fix them, all we can do is learn from them for our future.
For me, losing my father was a reminder of just how quickly everything can change.
We never think things like that will happen, but they can, and unfortunately, they do.
That’s precisely why we must prepare ourselves mentally and physically for what’s in store for us.
There’s no sense in simply ignoring what’s going on. Instead, we must accept the situations we find ourselves in and work on figuring out a way to remedy them.
Very few people know what to do when there is a death in the family.
My father had his affairs in order and still it was time-consuming and draining. As soon as my son reaches manhood, I will start teaching him how to deal with such a situation.
Some people might think that morbid, but I think it’s simply good practice.
I want to help prepare my son for the world and everything that’s in store for him to the best of my ability.
School teaches us how to plot parabolas, analyze classic literature, and many other trivial concepts, but it seems to have missed the boat on linking our education to real life. Theory seems to have replaced practicality.
In school we learn nothing about taxes, law, partnerships, marriage, money, investing, business, and death. And yet these are the things we all need to deal with at one time or another.
There are those who will argue with me on this issue, believing that kids should be sheltered from the pain of life, but sooner or later they will run into some crushing defeats. The better prepared they are, the faster they will be able to rebound.
My father was a generous man, I suppose he was successful. He could light up the room with his laughter, and was the ultimate storyteller.
I miss his stories, but most of all I just miss being able to give him a call to talk about life.
Me, I intend to be around as long as I can for my wife, my son, my friends and for anyone who wants to learn.
I’ve started eating better, drinking more water, going to the dentist more regularly, flossing daily, leading a less stressful life and savoring each day that bit more.
I savor the memories of my father and believe the best thing I can do is simply be the best Adrian I can be.
My blog, my book and my seminars are just the beginning.
So thank your friends and family for being a part of your journey today, for none of us knows what tomorrow holds.