The Defining Moment

Seventeen years ago my father was still alive and offering his advice and wisdom to a very troubled middle-aged woman (me) who had lost her way. His next to last gift was the note above, from the desk of a fighter pilot (he was P47 fighter pilot in WWll): He and my mother were pulling for me – I was in a battle for my life – finding the courage to fight addiction and seeking the path to freedom and the release from the chains that bound me.

Sixteen years ago (a month or so before he died) he gave me ‘A Short Guide to a Happy Life.’ He gave me this book inscribed, hoping it would be of some help along the way… and it has been. The simple words of wisdom remind me to stay in the moment, show up, listen, and find laughter every day.

My dad died suddenly and didn’t live to see me find freedom from addiction. He didn’t live to know I found some semblance of happiness along the way…and he didn’t live long enough to know I would someday truly find peace and serenity in “just being.”

One day he was here and the next day he vanished. May 7th marks the before and after. My dad died on this day, sixteen years ago leaving trace evidence behind. But he left one thing, the most important I believe: he left a part of him embedded deep inside of me. There was a certain wisdom and understanding I didn’t have before he left this earth – he tried to instill these in me before he vanished forever, much too soon. My stubborness and rebellion died with dad, but it was too late for him to see his only daughter break free, he was never coming back. It took the silencing of his voice and the whispering of the wind to help me gain clarity.

I love you dad. May your soul and your glory be with One and your light continue shining down from heaven.

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