So I am having a tough day.
Today would have been my Dad’s 77th birthday. He died on Mother’s Day last year after a long and courageous battle with cancer. The last two years of his life were filled doctor’s appointments, chemo treatments, surgeries, and more hospital stays than I care to count. But through it all he was the model patient – never feeling sorry for himself, always bringing joy to doctors and nurses, and never uttering one complaint – and he was so much sicker than he ever let on.
The NC State Motto is: Esse Quam Verdi which means To Be Rather Than Seem.
Never have I seen anyone epitomize that more than my Dad. He was just an average guy, with an ordinary job, but he never failed to make me, my sister and brother feel extraordinary. I can’t think of a day where he didn’t say, “I love you and I am so lucky, I have three great kids.”
He taught me to wake up everyday with a joyful heart. He taught me to be kind. He taught me to believe in myself. He taught me to not take life too seriously. He taught me to celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. He taught me to give 110% in everything. He taught me the meaning of sacrifice. He taught me to appreciate nature. He taught me perseverance and resilience. He taught me patience. He taught me what unconditional love is.
I miss him so much.
Somedays, like today, it knocks the wind out of me.
Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” I can’t think of a better quote to sum up the life of my dad and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my sister, brother and I are all teachers – our careers honor the values our Dad taught us.
While I am grateful my Dad saw all of us graduate from high school and college, get married, have kids, build careers – I’m not going to lie – I still feel a little bit cheated – and on days like today – it kinda sucks. But I will stop feeling sorry for myself, be grateful and go forward because that is what my Dad would expect of me!