Recently my younger brother found an old email from my father who passed in early 2006. This email was written late 2005. My father wrote very little in that email but said much. He knew mortality was near and he chose my brother to handle A delicate matter (the title of his email). In that email, my father told him that it was difficult for him to talk about but it may be easier for my brother. And he attached his own obituary.
I remember my father as a man always strong in his convictions and he was not easy to bend. But in that email, he showed his vulnerability and then in the attachment, he showed grace, wisdom and happiness. My siblings and I do feel at times that we lost our parents too early and it may be so but what we got was the two greatest guides we could ever have asked for. We were and are lucky.
And my father's words in that attachment covered all that he loved, his family first and foremost, the lodge and the importance of his friends. But it is these words that he left that, i believe, he left us his final lesson and guidance.
“He came to the world, his hands were empty
but when he left, his heart was full”
When i read these words, i remember my father's repeated question to me - "What is a good life?". I have answered this question with varying answers many times BUT i answer it now with his final lesson in mind. A good life is a life surrounded by love, respect and happiness.
My father had a good life.