This past Father’s Day, I was challenged to reflect upon my dad, who passed away in 2015. When someone passes away in your life, you wonder how you can honor them and how you can keep them with you. I guess my way is actually reminding myself of the lessons that he taught me and actually living them.
I have a letter my dad wrote me pinned to my refrigerator that reads:
How do you measure time? Some people do it by counting birthdays. Some do it by setting goals and marking them off as they are attained. Others do it by looking in their rear view mirror to evaluate where they have been and endeavor not to make the same mistakes going forward. No matter how you assess it, you have to conclude that “TIME” is precious and should not be wasted. Try to lend a helping hand to someone each day. Missed opportunities rarely come back. Do what you can today for you are never sure of tomorrow.
This does not mean that you should be a workaholic. Take TIME to rest and reflect. You will reap great dividends in doing so. May God bless in your future endeavors. Always seek his invaluable assistance in all of your plans.
Dad (Erling Osbourne Harry)
Rereading this, it gives me clarity on what I will do going forward, as best as I can:
- I will appreciate the time that I have and really understand what makes life worth living
- I will be fully present and show up completely with whatever I’m doing and honor that moment by giving it my full attention because that is the opportunity to feel most alive. That is what makes life worth living. Embracing the moment…as many moments as possible.
- I will help someone each day in whatever capacity presents itself, as that is one way in which I love to measure my day
- I will let go of the thoughts, the grudges, and the pains that don’t deserve me. It’s really hard to forgive others and it is even harder to forgive yourself, but that is where the real healing begins. It’s not an easy road to travel, but it is the road that will lead us to the joy, fulfillment, and the life that we seek.
- I will be kind and compassionate towards myself and not beat myself up when I feel I need to rest and take time for myself
- I will cherish the moments that I have because we never know how many moments we have left
It’s funny that my dad continues to teach me long after he has left this world. And I’m grateful to continue to learn from him.