Today I found myself looking back to the day my dad died. I promise this story is about joy, love and gratitude. I remember the morning like it was yesterday. My parents were staying in a remote Bed and Breakfast in Arizona, working their way home to Minnesota for my brother's wedding. When I finally connected with my mom that morning, her voice was unrecognizable. The fear, the sadness, the shock was heart breaking. "He is gone" she kept repeating, trying to believe the words herself. My heart physically hurt. What happened in that moment changed my life forever. My dad was gone, and my mother was over 1,500 miles away, BY HERSELF. My parents had been married over 42 years and were more in love with each other now than they had ever been. Spending the last 7 months on the road traveling and trying to find the perfect place to retire. No-one thought this was going to be their LAST adventure. Dad even talked about trying to find work for just a few more years. Every time we connected he would say I just can't seem to find a job, and every time without hesitation, I would ALWAYS say...then JUST KEEP PLAYING!. Never realizing how important those words would become.
I remember feeling numb as I tried to process her words. Then in what seemed as simple as flipping a switch it happened, an overwhelming sense of joy, love, and gratitude completely engulfed me. I thought what is happening here? In my darkest moment, I am feeling positive? I couldn't believe it! Suddenly I had found myself thinking how lucky we all were. I know, it sounds crazy right? He always said, when it was his time to go he wanted it to be quick, it was. He spent his last 7 months traveling with his soulmate having the time of their lives. They spent his last day celebrating at a local art festival and their evening completely engaged with one another...Perfect. I can't help but wonder sometimes, did he know?
I've realized, this journey we are on is truly a gift and tomorrow is NEVER promised. WORK passionately, LIVE Authentically and INSPIRE Others. Celebrate the gift of life EVERYDAY. LOVE Everyday.