Adversity shows up in many different ways and through a variety of situations.
I try not to make these blogs personal and yet once in a great while you remember that life seems to be fragile and that loss is inevitable.
How do you deal with adversity especially when it seems to be focused on the loss or the anticipated loss of someone who has had an extraordinary impact on your life?
Most recently I had a trip back east for work. I was training and teaching in one city, speaking in another city and managed to squeeze in a visit in to see my family.
My father who has had a tremendous impact on my life has been ill for quite some time. However, during my trips home we always find a way to play pinochle, one of our favorite card games.
But this last time was different. I sat down next to him at the table, he was in his wheelchair, and my mom was seated across from him. I dealt the cards and as I did I noticed he was struggling … he looked up at me and said … I can’t hold the cards … he was crushed.
I quickly brushed it aside and said don’t worry Pop we can just talk … and we did. We talked about life and death, we discussed life after death and what we thought happens to us. We went back through his life and talked about all of his accomplishments but most of all what he had accomplished as a father to me and my brothers.
Later that night I went back to see him. He was frustrated and not feeling so good about how things were unfolding. We chatted some more and we talked. At one point it seemed as though I was no longer talking to my father but sitting alongside a fellow human being who is nearing the end of his path. At other times it felt as if I was the parent and he was the child and he was having a nightmare and needed to be consoled. It was an extraordinary day filled with extraordinary moments that I will never forget.
Here’s the lesson … DON’T WAIT TO HAVE A CONVERSATION THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE!
Maybe it’s your parent, sibling, spouse, or child. It could even be a coworker or friend that you need to have “that conversation” with and you’ve been putting it off. It doesn’t have to be about life or death, it could simply be words of appreciation or thanks.
Remember that life is short and you may only have one chance left to forgive, to let go, to say what you’ve been meaning to say but haven’t, for whatever reasons. There is no good reason to wait because sometimes … yes sometimes … stuff happens.