Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting The Last Word In


Although my family and I will always remember so much of what happened during the time between October and January, I don’t want the focus of our memories to be from when Dad was sick.  He was so full of energy, humor, and adventure.  He always felt lucky and had such a positive outlook, and even though we miss him so much, we should try to follow his example, even and maybe especially when the going gets tough. 

The last night before Dad came home, my sister Jennifer and I spent the night with him in his hospital room.  It was very late, and he told us he was tired and was ready to go to sleep.  He said, “Night, night,” and we both responded by telling him good night.   Then he said, “OK, good night” and we said good night.  This went on for several exchanges until finally I said goodnight and he said “Shhhh! Quit saying that!” and we figured out that he wanted to get the last word in. 


So to give Dad the last word since he can’t be here to comment, here are five things I know he would want to say:

*Always try your best to laugh, especially at yourself.

*Don’t waste time thinking too much about something or worrying when you can just do it – set a goal and give it your full effort, or, as Dad liked to say, “Hit it!”

*Find something that you love to do and share it with others.

*When you make a commitment, stick to it.

*Live life to the fullest – don’t wait to do the things that are on your Bucket List – spend as much time as you can with people you love and doing the things you love.

Thanks, Dad, for the late-night talks, the laughs, the lessons, the support, the love, and the perspective.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"If You Think You're Lucky, Then You Are!"

My dad always said, “If you think you’re lucky, then you are!”  He truly believed that happiness and life satisfaction were based on perspective, not situation. 

I think about this on a daily basis and have always tried to emulate this attitude.  Dad wasn’t really what I would call a philosophical kind of person; he was just wise and practical enough to see that it’s easier to get along with a smile on your face than a chip on your shoulder.
But since Dad's diagnosis in October, I have learned that the glass isn’t really always half full … I think if I were viewing the glass as "half full" right now, it would only be because I was in full-blown denial of what has transpired.  I'm not a big fan of at leasts - but at least the glass isn't empty, and, with the legacy Dad has left behind, most notably the gift of perspective, I don't think it ever will be. 

I recently saw a story about a man who was fired from his job because his wife had cancer:
Click here for the story on ABC News

As in every controversial situation, I’m sure there is another side to this story, but, any way you slice it, it sucks that this guy is out of a job and his wife has cancer. 

Maybe things will turn around for them, or maybe not.  Either way, though, I know my dad would say that they should look for any at leasts they can find … in other words, as Dad would say, “It COULD be worse!”

Whether one sees the glass as half-full or half-empty, though, at times the contents of the cup are sloshed around so much that it’s tough to function.  

But as we try to remember recognize the at leasts to keep our perspective, we can hope for a better tomorrow, believe that we'll get it, and, in the meantime, be happy for what we are lucky enough to have, because, after all: "If you think you're lucky, then you are!"