Last week was my dad’s birthday.
He was gone too soon. Already ten years have flown by since his passing – so hard to believe!
I just read a beautiful essay written by Zen Habits blogger Leo Babauta called “The Painful Beauty of Impermanence“. It reminds us to treasure our every moment and make the most of this impermanent existence we all live.
There’s nothing more inevitable than death and yet it’s one of the hardest things for us to accept and make peace with.
I know we always think good things about those who have left us (see, I can’t even write the “d” word here!), but in remembering my dad, I can’t think of a single thing I would have changed about him. I count myself very lucky that I can say that. Wouldn’t you?
It is presumptuous of me to boast of having the greatest dad ever – because isn’t that an affront to all those great dads out there? However, I do count my many blessings for having been favored to be his daughter – and this was true about every stage of life that we had together.
I reflect on his patience, kindness and tolerance, his humility and good humor, his contentedness and serenity – these were his standout qualities – and hope that those very qualities, in some way or fashion, have been passed on through his genes to me and further down. It’s hard for me to remember a time when he lost his cool, but of course, being his favorite daughter, I would have been the last to see it. [FYI, before you react to that presumption, I am also his only daughter].
Our family lives now with the painful beauty of his impermanence. And we try hard not to dilute our memories of him, nor our wishes to follow his example on so many aspects of life and living.
If there’s one last thought, it is that we make a pact with ourselves – to make a mindful attempt to relish, to celebrate all those wonderful relationships we are lucky enough to have – in the only life we live. I know my dad did.
Photo credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFather_and_Daughter_at_RK_Beach_in_Visakhapatnam.jpg