As you all might know, I have only just recently lost my Dad. He was a truly inspiring person, someone who saw his chances and found a way to grab the bull by the horns. His story is a very special one. Given the fact that he was born in the 20′ many of his adventures seem so unreal.
He always traveled and he somehow was handed opportunities many movies are made of today. He had his chances, grabbed them and turned everything into a success. He was, still is and always will be the best example of life handing you the tools you need. If the time is right you will find yourself at the right place in the right time and you will meet the right people and have the right ideas.
He was a successful man but more importantly: He never forgot where he came from, the struggles his family had to go through in order to survive. He never treated anyone from above. Although he was successful it was always about his team. Every single one of them. And he always reminded us that what we have can never be taken for granted.
He became a father very late in life and I guess that was one of the reasons why we got to spend so much time with him. I think if he would have had kids earlier in his life he would have been too busy building his dream. And yet I wonder, if he would have not anyway taken the time out to spend with his kids. I always had the feeling we were everything that really mattered to him.
So when Danny asked the following question in his Question Of The Day series, I knew what my answer would be:
“When you are 90 years old what do you think will matter to you the most?”
My Dad was 94 years and just over 8 months when he passed away. Over the last 5 years I had not seen him and phone calls with him became impossible due to his dementia over the last year or so of his life. I was lucky enough to have seen him again before he left us. By chance. Or maybe not. You never really know with life, don’t you.
So let’s call it chance that we spontaneously decided to travel to Switzerland and more or less book last minute. It gave me just about two weeks with him. And although dementia had robbed him of the ability to communicate and maybe sometimes of recognizing me, it still left enough to let us connect and share so many things together. Not words. Just a few words. Mainly holding hands and kisses and hugs. And the things that are shared without words. I can not even put it in words but maybe you know what I’m talking about. A feeling, a vibe.
For my Dad all that ever counted was his family. Seeing us all healthy and happy. Having children was always a big dream of his, one of the dreams he had that became reality. I’m convinced that the moment he had me close to him again, able to hold my hand, look me in the eye and also get some hugs and kisses from his grandchildren he had peace of mind. Most probably that was also the reason for him to be able to leave us so peacefully soon after. He was robbed of the ability of expressing this peace of mind in words. But it was written in his face, mirrored in his eyes.
So if you ask me what will one day matter the most for me, I already know, that it will be the well-being of my children, their health and their happiness. What will matter the most to me is having peace of mind. Knowing that I lived my life to the fullest, enjoyed the beautiful moments and places, having done my very best at all time and always being kind and supportive with others will give me that peace of mind.
There’s so much we can take on board from our older generation. So much we can take on board if we live life with an open heart and an open mind. There’s so much more than just financial success out there. When I look back at my life one day, I do want to know that I took it all on board and not have wasted too much of my life running after so called opportunities only to realize that they actually will never make me a happier or better person.