Today marks the 6th anniversary of my father’s death. I could sit here and re-count the day and how I found him and how all of that has affected me.You could probably sit there and feel sorry for me and the sad story about how sad it all was and make you think of loved ones that have passed and maybe even make you shed a tear when thinking of your loved ones still living or passed on.
But I am not going to do that today.
Instead I am going to talk about how death can make us renew and affirm the way we live.
When my father died, I cried, a lot. Actually a lot more than I thought I would. I was very angry with my father for a very long time. We didn’t always get along. So we gave each other a lot of room, so we could keep the relationship on good terms. He did come over for coffee once in awhile and that was nice, and we did have a few “aww” moments that I can recall and am grateful for, because looking back now I realize he was trying in his own way to connect, but it was not as I wanted it to be and more of a very civil relationship in the end.
I got to do a lot of reflecting on my father and his life after he passed. What he had done. How he ended up. I started feeling very sad and also came up with a few realizations that has changed my life greatly, and with that I can’t help but think he gave me the greatest gift of all.
As I cleaned out his apartment, I realized that it doesn’t much matter what we own because it’s not coming with us when we die. The best we can do is minimize the crap we have as to not let others have to clean it up for you. He lived alone and had 45 cups. I counted.
Having seen him be so hell-bent in the last few years at getting out of debt. It struck me that he got no peace. He kept striving for no more debt and would mark a big PAID on his red file folders and would proudly show me his progress. I was very proud of him and gave him positive reinforcements but he never reached that destination. Almost but the carrot in the end escaped him and I also found that sad. To work your entire adult life to get out of the vice of debt without actually accomplishing that task. Like never being able to empty your “In” Box.
I also realized that since it’s not about the accumulation of things, life should be about the memories you create. That I learned from my Dad because he shared and made some real good funny ones that I remember and smile at when I am down.
It took me a few more years to implement all I learned but basically it came down to this. We are doing our best to be completely out of debt within 5 years so that we don’t end dying and still in debt, and we would like to be retired about 5 years later. A full 20 years before my father’s age of death at 75. I don’t want to spend my life where my only goal in life is the payment of THINGS.
There are no guarantees and I could die tomorrow as could anyone. But as I clean out another section of my home and minimize my life and pay off another bill. I start to feel a weight lift off my shoulders and a freedom of living that I have never felt before. I know that by cleaning out my life, I won’t leave my mess to anyone else to clean. I find a greater appreciation with less and let the room in my mind be filled with things that are important. Love, Appreciation, Joy, Contentment.
I write this little blog hoping that whoever finds it can take something good away from it, and at the same time leaving a little of who I am behind when I do leave the world of the living. And hopefully, I can always be proud of what I left behind for others to find.
I’ve learned that you can’t count on anything to be forever and the best you can do is to stack the odds in your favor so that you have a fighting chance to enjoy living as much and for as long as you can. As they say it’s about the moments that take your breath away.
I’ve learned that I don’t want to spend one minute with martyrs or constant doomsday people who make it their goal to sprinkle a bit of anger, pain and negativity on everyone, even passively. I’d rather try to walk away from conflict when I have the chance especially if it does not concern me at all. And I have found out that a lot does not concern me.
I’ve learned to stopped being impressed with the rich in this world who live in mansions and tweet themselves and the purse they bought or the new acquired millions they have. They could be making a difference in this world and they don’t. Not really.
I am working towards freedom, not accumulation so I can concentrate on what matters in this world and do some good. I want to go beyond my needs and wants, although I think we are pretty selfish to start with and try to do good when I can instead of causing unrest and pain.
I want to stop and smell the flowers and hope the rest of the world can end up doing the same. Where status and poverty both get wiped out by the time I’m dead.
And last but not least: Don’t be so hard on yourself, after all no ones gets out alive in the end.
And I hope that after I’m gone, someone can sit and think of me and smile, and miss me like I’m missing my Dad!
Happy Tuesday Everyone!