My Father was 51 when he passed away, he was still working, and had planned his second career. I didn’t talk about death with him, I was in my teens, and frankly, I didn’t want to believe he was dying.
After working through a great deal of my grief, and facing my own death (I will get to that on another post), I have learned 5 key things from the way he lived.
1. My Father was an optomist to a fault. He never ever saw the glass as half empty, I am not sure how he managed it through his career, but he was always upbeat and amazingly positive. He once told me, that nothing good can come out of being in a bad mood.
2. This is a big one, I truly believe my Father had it in his head that he would die young, because of that, he saw every single country he wanted. I don’t think he died believing there was one last country he needed to see. I didn’t appreciate that until a few years ago, when I realized, I was working so much that I wasn’t having my own adventures.
3. He treated everyone the way he wanted to be treated. An incredibly gracious man, he knew everyone’s name, from the man who came to pick up the garbage in his office, to the people who worked in the cafeteria at work. He wasn’t a chit chatter, but he always stopped to say hello and acknowledge everyone around him.
4. Only speak when it is really important. I still have to learn this one. He had a reputation for sitting in a meeting, silently, and then waiting for a lull, and saying the one crucial thing that needed to be said.
5. Always say I love You. No matter how angry, hungry, or tired, he never ended a phone conversation, or left on a business trip without telling each one of us kids, or my Mother that he loved us. I can still remember being at boarding school, and he was about to leave on a business trip, and he called me, just to say “I love you”. We weren’t even living on the same continent, but he felt that he needed to call me to tell me that.
Is there a lesson you have learned?