This time of year always gets me thinking about life... and death.
In a few short days, it'll make four years since my dad died. To say I was close to my dad is an understatement. I truly was Daddy's girl. (I'm sure my sisters were, too, but we won't talk about that!)
Not only did I love my dad, I looked up to him, respected him, and though I didn't always agree with him, thought he was the smartest man I knew. There is a void in my life that will never be filled though as the years go on, I'm happy to say that the edges are a bit less jagged. The pain I've felt in the past has mellowed into longing. Longing to hear his voice one more time, feel his arms around me, or cheer over the phone long distance while we watch the Triple Crown races 'together'.
Okay... this isn't supposed to be a sad post, and I've gotten a bit off topic. Back to my original statement. Losing my dad sharpened my perspective on a few things, the brevity of life being one of them. I don't think any age will be young enough for me to declare that I don't want one more year, one more month, one more day, one more second. That I don't want to enjoy and savor every moment that comes my way. Which is why I try, really try, not to waste what I have this very moment. Life.
I do, though... waste it, that is. Sometimes. Not with deliberate intent. More like a passive 'I feel icky today so I'm going to mope around and feel sorry for myself' carelessness. And, honestly, I'm not certain it is possible to live every moment to the fullest. Maybe for some people. Not for me. I came equipped with a lackadaisical attitude that boots up every now and again. And, yes, maybe I've been known to indulge it a little, too. But I'm starting to see the end of the road. It's a long ways away, at least I hope it is. But it's there. That glimmer on the horizon that says 48 isn't quite as old as it seemed when I was 20.
So, I'm making a vow. The same vow I've made every year for the past four when this date rolls around. I'm not going to waste my life. I'm going to stop being so restrictive with myself. Break out of the steel cage that I've erected around my soul. Enjoy more and worry less. Take care of my health. (Whew, that's a big one!) I am making progress. It's not an overnight project. It took me years to get where I am and it'll probably take a few more to get to where I want to be. But I have faith I'll get there. Because no matter how many mopey days I have, I keep coming back to the productive ones. It's a choice. One I'm honored I still have the chance to make. And here's hoping I get to make more of them in the decades to come.
You taught me a lot about life, Dad, but in death you've taught me the most important lesson. Don't take life for granted.
p.s. - I love you and miss you like crazy!