Previously on JOYful Musings
The Gifts of My FatherNovember 30, 2016
As I sit here at my computer in the early morning hours on the last day of November, I have decided to abandon the almost finished article for this month's JOYful Musings to be resurrected at a future date. After a phone call last evening with my sister (who lives with our parents), I decided I wanted to relay a different message for this issue. I wish to share with you my thoughts and feelings regarding The Gifts of My Father.
My sister told me that she had to prop our dad up in his bed and spoon feed the soup he had for dinner last night because he was so weak. That is the first time he has not been able to feed himself. He is 88 and his health has been slowly declining in the last few years. It became noticeable shortly before he was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma back in 2013. About a year ago we were advised to check into hospice for him, which we did. However, while going through the admission process, we found out from his oncologist that dad was actually in remission at that time and therefore not eligible for hospice. At-home caregivers were needed and hired to help out as an alternative.
Dad has lost a considerable amount of weight in the last two weeks. He sleeps most of the time now and cannot bear his weight when trying to stand. It was decided we need to get him checked out ASAP to see if the cancer has returned and go from there. His body may be checking out, but his spirit will always live on. I have had a lifelong affection and deep admiration for the kind of person my father has always been, and wanted to share with you just why that is my perspective.
Growing up as the oldest of five children in a family that already consisted of my father's two younger brothers, who lost their parents early in life and came to live with my parents, plus my mother's mother, who came to live with the family to help out when my uncles arrived - you might expect that one could get lost or easily overlooked among this large brood. But that never happened to me when it came to my relationship with my dad.
For a large part of the time when I was growing up, my father was a traveling salesman and often away from home for weeks at a time. I recall that when he was home, I would most likely find him at the dining room table which was strewn with piles of paperwork that he had to complete for his monthly sales reports. But no matter how engrossed dad was in any activity, if I wanted to speak with him for any reason, he would always stop what he was doing and give me his full attention. He never made me feel like I was interrupting or a bother to him. I always felt like I was the most important person in the world when I was with him.
With all his children, he was steadfast in his unconditional love and caring. He never raised his voice or got angry with us - except for the one time when my only brother did something that made my dad speak to him in a very stern way. I never knew what it was my brother did, but the rest of us figured it must have been a doozy since we'd never heard our father talk to us using that tone.
Dad would often tell us that as long as we did our best in any endeavor in life, that was what was most important. Actually, that and living life with a positive and happy outlook. My dad was one of those people who always saw the glass as being half full. He has charmed everyone he has ever met with his kindness, warmth and interest in making all who cross his path feel like they are important and that they matter. He can make anyone laugh within mere seconds as he also possesses one of the keenest senses of humor I've ever witnessed. I think he would have made a great entertainer. Everyone he encounters and all those who know him, adore him because he just loves people!
I believe my father's greatest gift is that he just brings positive energy and JOY wherever he goes. He's a day brightener, an uplifter, and quite the character as well. He has stated to us numerous times that he was often called to the principal's office at school for the many pranks and shenanigans he initiated. But he told me once when I was quite young that it was never at the expense of another. His intentions were always to make everyone lighten up and laugh. Kind of like the court jester. As I write this I realize that I did the same when I was in high school. I guess the acorn really doesn't fall far from the tree. Such a powerful role model for me in my life quest of connecting to the JOY in life. I recognized long ago that it was my father who ingrained in me a zest for life and a deep desire to always follow my heart's desire.
Another gift that I truly appreciate about my father is his curiosity. He has been an avid reader as long as I can remember and a seeker of knowledge and truth. He shared with me once that during his sales career he would only agree to work with a business whose products he believed in. "You can't be a great salesman and make a lot of sales if you don't believe in what you're selling." He was always honest, loyal and had great integrity. He was also a hustler, but always for the benefit of his customers who he made sure were happy and satisfied in every way. I'm positive that's why he was continually the #1 salesman wherever he worked. Dad consistently gave his all and did it with heart and style, to boot!
There are so many more stories I could relay about why I love and admire the man I am honored to call my dad, but I think you probably appreciate my reasoning by now. It is in times like this (the failing health of my father) that often wake us up and make us stop and consider who we are being and what we are creating in our own lives that will become our legacy when our time is up. Perhaps it may encourage us to look for ways to stay inspired and on track with our true calling and purpose with a greater commitment to accomplishing our best lives.
I have been blessed to be the recipient of the many wonderful ways that my father has inspired, encouraged, loved me and honored my personal journey. I am endlessly grateful for all he has shared with me and countless others throughout his life, all of which will shine on in our hearts long after he has departed this earth. The Gifts of My Father will have a life of their own in generations to come - of this I am sure!
The Gifts of My Father
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
5:30 PM (Pacific)
8:30 PM (Eastern)
FREE one hour teleseminar
Let's get together with an informal evening of a short guided meditation and then on to mini-readings for those who wish to explore what they most need to know in regard to staying inspired and on track with your true calling and purpose with a greater commitment to accomplishing your best life!
You always have the option of stepping up and asking a question, sharing or just participating as an interested and supportive audience member. I hope you'll decide to join us on the call ... we always end up bringing in some wisdom for each of us and have a great time in the process!
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Quotes to Ponder
There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children... one is roots, the other wings.
The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
You may want to contemplate what you will be leaving behind as your legacy one day and reaffirm your commitment to staying inspired and on track with your true calling and purpose with a greater commitment to accomplishing your best life!
Mark your calendar for my next teleseminar, Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 at 5:30 PM (PST) and join me for a JOYful evening filled with inspiration, information and more!
May each day bring you more JOY, unexpected and happy surprises and...
...the next step for Livin' in the FUN Zone!