My Dad did nothing to elevate himself, for selflessness was a trait within himself that compelled him to live outside of himself. And while I doubt that he ever grasped the immensity of his selflessness as it was unleashed into the lives of his children, that forever unleashed life within us that is now being unleashed outside of us.
—Craig D. Lounsbrough
Today I am grateful for my Dad, on this fourth anniversary of his exit from earth and entrance into heaven.
My dad was my first hero.
He taught me many lessons.
But later in life I interpret his admonitions in a different way:
Always check the fluid levels and tire pressure before taking off on the journey.
Now, as opposed to 1976, my car tells me those things.
But am I taking care of myself first before trying to help others?
Always stop to see the landmarks, the fairytale gardens.
Is my journey, even though off the beaten path, the right path for me?
Am I stopping to see the cool things or just rushing around?
Believe in your inner voice and don’t get caught up in foolishness.
Am I trusting the right people and going with my gut instincts?
Always take time to dance.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of my daddy picking me up off the floor, holding me in his arms, and dancing around the living room with me to “Mona Lisa” by Nat King Cole. Whenever I hear that song I feel loved and protected. Still…
It’s okay to cry.
My dad was not the emotional sort. I thought. But the morning my sister died, he sobbed in my arms. After her death his “I love yous” we’re more frequent.
After my mom died we spent many Saturday mornings crying together. His heartbreak was real. His mourning was agonizing. We sat together, cried together, and reminisced together.
As I enlarged my vision to see the bigger picture of my dad’s full life, I was better able to let go of being stuck in memories of its end.
— Lisa J. Shultz, A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent
Always say “Until next time” – never goodbye.
The last day that I saw my Dad, we made plans for the upcoming weekend.
Said “see you then.”
The next day he was dead.
And the most important lesson that my Dad learned later in life and taught me:
take anyone for granted.
They could be here one day
and gone the next.
If you love someone,
and tell them
tomorrow may be too late.