I am not someone that lives in the past but I am definitely someone that is inspired by it in a reflective and grateful way. Growing up, the month of July signified all that I loved about summer...no school; weekdays spent with my friends basking in the sunshine at the beach and weekends were full of water skiing fun off of the Ryan’s boat; sleepover getaways at my cousin's house in NJ; big family bbqs in our backyard; endless pool parties and enjoying lots of summertime crazy antics with my friends and neighbors.
Then everything changed on July 23rd 1982. It has been 39 years since that day but come July each and every year I can still recall all the events of that day as if it were yesterday...because on that day life as I knew it was forever changed. When I say changed I don't necessarily mean all bad. The terrible part was obviously losing my Dad. It is actually still hard for me to reconcile that he pretty much vanished on that day. No good byes. As I kid I never ever imagined anything would happen to him. He seemed larger than life and invincible. I loved everything about him. He made life a party. Besides being incredibly fun, he was an extraordinary parent and friend to all. I was always proud to be his daughter and I still am.
So what could possibly inspire me about that day ...
Through loss you gain.
What do we gain?
The understanding that each and every day is a precious gift.
Why waste a single day being negative or angry? We're all human and will feel those feelings but why stay THERE. Would you ever keep traveling back to a place that wasn't fun? Absolutely not.
Make your authentic mark whether it be quietly or loudly...but always kindly.
Stay grateful for what you still have.
Take comfort and love from others...it's abundant IF you allow it in.
People are good. Sure, there are some "bad" people but there are way more good ones. Focus on THAT.
Don't wait for something "bad" to happen to let someone know how much you think of them. Care about them while they are HERE.
Open your home!!! We all have beautiful homes but no one is inviting anyone over. Yes, it's work but memories are made in communion with people.
I still miss my Dad deeply. He lived his 48 short years just the way I described above. I am forever grateful that he knew how much I loved and appreciated him and I know that he felt the same way about me. Truly a gift.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.