Thanks Dad-You have forever changed my outlook on life

Today is my birthday; I am 56, the same age my dad was when he died suddenly 38 years ago. He died a week before I graduated from high school.  My parents were divorced when dad died, and we weren’t really close.   I ran into a gentleman who had known my dad for many years, he shared some great stories.  He was telling me about my dad’s great sense of humor, which I never really saw.  My folks were unhappy for many years, and waited until I was 16 before they divorced.

I’m sad that I never really got to know my dad when I became an adult. I was in my senior year of high school and was too busy for him. I recently came across a journal I kept from 1977.  It was a great trip down memory lane.  Lots of fun times, but then I came across the day my dad died, May 6, 1977. That entry was probably the most legible entry in my entire journal.  My handwriting is abysmal and I can barely read it myself.  After I read the daily entries for the next week after my dad died, I had an epiphany.  Life is too damn short to be anything but happy.

I’ve been having my own internal pity party for years.  I’ve tried to not be a complainer, but life just throws curve balls at me all the time.  I use to be a really fun person, but losing a loved one to a drunk driver 12 years ago changed that. I’m also have chronic back pain which doesn’t help.

After reading about my dad, I have come to the realization that nothing is a given.  We never know when our number is going to be up.  My dad was the same age as me when he died of a heart attack.

I have vowed to not be that negative complainer anymore. You just have to deal with whatever hardships life throws at you and go forward.  You and you alone are the only person who can change your life.

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