Mixed Emotions – A Letter To Dad
July 2nd, 1994.
Everyone was getting ready for the 4th of July holiday. It was summertime, family time, and it was a different world. We weren’t distracted by social media, smart phones, apps, and multi-tasking. People spent more time with family and friends being “present” instead of entertained by small shiny objects with bright screens.
I was finishing college, waiting tables for work, and getting ready to backpack through Europe for a month vacation. I was young, happy, care-free, and excited about the future. I NEVER thought about the future as in 20 years down the road at age 41, where I am now. That just seemed SO far into the future! I was thinking future as in the next few months.
I wasn’t thinking about my future with family, kids, and career many years down the road, and I certainly didn’t think about a future without my dad.I was VERY close with my dad and admired him greatly. He thought I was a “health nut” and would tease me about my workout and eating habits.
Everything changed the evening of July 2nd 1994. My dad died of a heart attack. No gradual introduction into him dying, no hope of him pulling through, no “he had a heart attack now let’s change habits.”
Just BOOM! Gone. Done.
No last words.
I was 22, my brother 20 and my sister only 12. He left us without a dad and he left my young mom a WIDOW. It was a DIRECT result of poor nutrition and not working out. He was only 49.
19 years have passed now…and I have a few words for the most important man in my life.
Letter to Dad
So much has changed since you have been gone. The last day I saw you, we were so focused on the “present”. It would have been impossible NOT to be. There wasn’t “technology” competing for our attention everywhere we looked. There were no “distractions”. There were no cell phones, there was no internet, texting or e-mail.
There was no easy access to the world wide web and Social Media wasn’t even created yet. There were no websites or blogs, there was no apps, smart phones, iPads, or even iPods for that matter to distract us from being present. We used to have some pretty great conversations when we were together. I learned so much from you.
I was 22 and just finished college. I was eager to make a name for myself but never lost track of what was important. I LOVED being “healthy and active”. Aerobics was the hit thing at the time. “Health Clubs” were new and getting popular and were quickly becoming the new “social hour”. I LOVED living the healthy lifestyle and I always wanted you to join me.
I asked you many times to come to the gym with me. I ASKED you to consider learning and embracing what I knew about healthy eating. I ASKED YOU many times. I asked you to hike with me, ride bikes with me, even jog with me. You weren’t interested.
I, your young daughter, wanted to share with you what I knew and loved and you didn’t feel it warranted attention. Work was your thing and you loved technology. Just think how you would have LOVED today’s world if you were still around. You would have loved smart phones and you would have enjoyed learning and networking via social media and the web.
You will never know those things. You will never know MY daughter which would be your granddaughter. You will never know that I moved to California where I wanted to live so badly as a teenager. You will never know how my career has thrived due to that “fitness life” you teased me about all the time. You would be amazed that I did it all with “modern technology” you would have loved but never got to see. You died prior to all of this. You left us…all of us. You missed getting to watch us become adults and raise our own children.
I miss you so much and at the same time, I am angry that you wouldn’t listen.
Take care if yourself not just for YOU but for your loved ones! I miss my dad and I am angry that he never got to know any of his grandchildren.
What can you take from this?
Stop the excuses for your habits that are self inflicting life threatening diseases. Yes, it is ‘your’ life…but realize there are LOTS of people that want you around for a long time. The formula is not that difficult: eat clean, natural, unprocessed foods; and MOVE. Walk more. Be active. Don’t let a sedentary life become you. Stop the quick fix, take a pill BS, and get a plan to get yourself together.
PLEASE. You may not care about your health but don’t be selfish. Your decisions affect the lives of more people than just yourself. If you don’t know how to help yourself then ASK for help and LEARN from others. With all the technology today, there is NO EXCUSE for not finding answers. There is little thing called Google that can answer almost any question you might have…all you have to do is move your fingers.
Don’t be selfish.
Excuses or Solutions…You Decide!
– Natalie Jill