Last week was a very memorable one for me for many reasons. The first being I was honored at work with an award I had no idea I was getting. One so big it brought tears to my eyes which is unusual for me but it was actually pretty good timing…the other thing that happened last week was the anniversary (4th) of my dad’s passing. (see what happened here)
I was listening to this song on my long run today (The Night by Avicii) and you know how sometimes when you listen to music on a run, you don’t really hear it, you just need it for background noise? That was what it was like today with the exception of this one line they kept repeating…
One day my father—he told me,
“Son, don’t let it slip away.”
He took me in his arms, I heard him say,…
He said, “One day you’ll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember.”
And it got me thinking. When someone you love passes away, some believe that they send signs to the people they left behind. I believe this. I’ve had to many strange experiences (you have to read this one) and I think this run was another sign. A strange thing happens after four years of grief (at least for me). The void that my dad’s passing created is starting to get filled in. I’ve started to fill that void with two traits my dad had in spades…passion and determination.
I’m not going to sit here and sing the “Woe is me” song. I’ve done that before. This year is different.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…
This might sound strange but he wasn’t very smart and neither am I. I’ve never really been. I went through my childhood watching kids go off to “gifted” classes, thinking why not me?! I wanted to feel special but I wasn’t… not in the way that teachers saw me or were trained to look at me. In the way of book smarts, I’m mediocre at best and so was my dad. But, as I HOPE you know, raw talent doesn’t equal success…it has to come with this other little thing called passion and the ability to work hard.
I watched my dad work his butt off…to the point of compromising his health. Stress was something he internalized and it ultimately killed him. I learned from my dad, whether he knows he taught me this or not, that there’s a limit. There’s a need to ask yourself
“what’s it worth to you?”
It’s good to have drive. It’s good to want something so much you can taste it but there is a point but there’s also a need for balance (that four letter word). I work HARD…it’s all I know but I also know that my life isn’t meant to live behind a desk. My life’s success isn’t measured in numbers in a bank account. Life is about leaving behind something you can be proud of…Life is about doing what you love. Life is about touching lives. Life is about a visitation that lasted well over the four hours because you touched that many people. That’s inspiring. That reminded me of what I think important so I’ll be working hard to