What My Daughter Taught Me
There are many people in our lives that teach us a thing or two about living. Sometimes it isn’t until after they’re gone that we realize the impact they have on our lives and how we carry their spirit with us in our day to day living. My daughter Michelle was one of these special people that taught me. Not only did she have a profound impact on my life, I would like to believe that she had a positive impact on the many other lives she touched. There are many things I am left to ponder about her. Like all of us she was far from perfect. But there were many characteristics woven within those imperfections that impacted how I now live my life. She made me rethink what is important in living life and awakened me to cherish many things I took for granted or chose to ignore; she helped me to embrace new ideas at a time when I thought maybe I was old enough to know everything worth knowing. She helped me understand how wrong I was and how much more there was to living and understanding life. Specifically, she left me with these thoughts to ponder:
1. Take time to make time. She always used this phrase to counter my statement that “I didn’t have time to do something”. She would say, “you have to find time to do it”. If something is important enough to you or someone close to you, then you should be able to find time to do it. Just find the time.
2. Slow down and enjoy the little things. Life isn’t always about planning for the big events, it’s about enjoying the little things. Everyday there’s something to enjoy, you just have to notice it. A walk in the park, carving pumpkins, playing in the yard, or watching a movie together are all simple events, events to enjoy.
3. There are many ways to look at something. There isn’t just one way to approach something or to accomplish a specific task. Each person has a unique perspective. It’s from that perspective that we all approach life. Be tolerant and let others work through their own process. Don’t cut them short and force them to do it your way.
4. Learning isn’t always about striving for perfection. Sometimes the goal of learning isn’t about striving for perfection in completing a task, it’s about enjoying the process of learning. The fun of learning is all about delving into areas you enjoy. You don’t need to delve into those areas that aren’t of interest to you as deeply as those that are of interest to you. You don’t need to learn perfectly, you just need to learn.
5. Never be afraid to travel your own path. You are unique. You are wonderful. Don’t feel forced to travel along everyone else’s path. Make your own path when and if you want to. Never feel pressured to conform.
6. Never be afraid to show your emotions. A hug you give to someone may light up their day. Telling someone they are special shows how you care about them. Showing others your emotional side lets others know there is a connection between us all as members of the human race. Showing your emotions to others isn’t a sign of weakness it’s a sign of power, the power that shows you care about others.
7. Doing the right thing is always the right thing. Yes it’s difficult to always do the right thing. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do, but over time doing the right thing proves to be the best option.
Our daughter Michelle would have been 22 years old today, but passed away way to soon on April 16, 2014. Michelle, thank you for helping me embrace life and helping me to always look for the special gifts everyone has to offer.