Sadly, he passed away in 2001 on Father’s Day. He was always one to be a bit dramatic!
His death was sudden and a surprise to my family and myself. I continue to miss him, and with Father’s Day weekend upon us, I always seem to reflect back on my Dad and our time together in this life form.
His job at General Motors was not always fulfilling. I can remember many a night when he’d arrive home frustrated and upset with what transpired in his day. Back then it wasn’t the norm to jump from job to job, so he fought the good fight and headed back to his job each morning. He had a family to support and my Mom would ever so gently remind him of this. There were many frustrations for him, but he was at least driven by the promise of a comfortable retirement.
But that didn’t happen. A few years before his retirement date, the pension package was changed such that he received not nearly what he’d planned on. My father was disappointed in the way things turned out.
In his later years, he often told my brothers and me that we should design our lives around doing something we loved, something with a compelling purpose. He helped us realize that the focus of our lives shouldn’t be making it to retirement age; what counted were the experiences along the way, the fulfillment found in the journey itself.
“At the end of your life, you want to look back and say, ‘That was a great ride,’ rather than, ‘I wish I’d done something else,'” he’d tell us.
I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Dad to admit that he was somewhat disappointed in the way his life turned out, but I admire and appreciate that he wanted something better for his sons.
Dad didn’t want us to make the same mistake he made. He was deeply proud of being a great provider, and boy was he an inspiring father to his three sons, perhaps without even knowing it. He instilled in us a hunger to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
My Dad worked in the human resources department, and I guess when I really think about it, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I love working with individuals, groups, and organizations, big and small, to help them realize their true potential.
Thank you, Dad. The work I do in the world is because of you. Your life lesson has stayed with me, and has become my own compelling purpose.
More to come!