When I was 10, my dad was killed by a drunk driver. He was 32 years old. I remember that night more clearly than any of my childhood. That evening turned out to be the single most defining moment of my life, and it meant that I grew up without a father.
My last memory of my dad was camping in the woods at a Boy Scout weekend. It was the first time we had done something just as father and son and is a memory that I cherish more than any other. That weekend also marked the end of father and son time for me and the last 30 years have been without him in my life.
He was not there to talk with me about sex (which in retrospect is not necessarily bad since it would mean thinking about my dad actually having sex).
I did not have my dad there to teach me how to drive.
He did not show me how to fix things. Though my mom tells me his tool of choice was always a hammer, so perhaps it is good I did not carry on this tradition.
He never got to see me grow to be a man. I would have loved to have him see me take the knowledge he provided to create a life I’d like to think he would be proud of.
I missed ever hearing my dad tell me he was proud of me.
We never discussed politics, religion, or world views.
We never spent a Sunday watching a baseball game.
We never shared a beer, which would really piss him off since he loved beer more than the air he breathed.
I missed ever being able to tell him I am proud of who he was.
My life could be defined by all the things I did not have with him. I could spend my days thinking about how my life would be different if he had lived. But, that is not who I am.
I am the man I am today in part BECAUSE my father died when I was 10.
My dad died before he was able to pursue his passions, always expecting that he would be alive tomorrow to make them come true. I am living my dream because my father never had that opportunity.
With his death, my mom became the most important person in my life. She was my best friend for years, listening to my problems and discussing issues that I never would have shared otherwise. We explored a wide range of issues and she never held back, letting me ask the questions regardless of the subject.
My mom was my hero. Overnight she went from stay at home mom to single, working mother. She knew all the answers and could solve any problem. She inspired me (and continues to do so) by what she provided to me. I know in retrospect how hard this transition was on her, but at the time all I knew is she was our rock during a tragic time. I have more respect for her than any person I’ve ever met because of what she gave me.
I am in love with a strong, independent, intelligent woman who inspires me each day to want to be better. I cannot imagine my life without her, but know that I could never have appreciated all she could give me if my mom had not influenced how I view women.
I am passionate, happy, and full of dreams because of how my life was shaped. The death of my father changed so much for me, but it also set me on the path I live and love each day. I wear his wedding ring as a reminder of who he was, what impact his death had on my life, and as an inspiration to leave each day as if it was my last.
I am living my dream in part because my father died when I was 10.
I do shed a fair number of tears in reflection of my dad and a life without him. However, I do not regret or bemoan the situation. Instead, I focus on where my life has taken me as result. Instead of focusing on who I could have been, I am embracing who I actually am each day.
We all have events in our past that shape us into who we are today. Without these experiences, we would not be who we are at this moment. Instead of focusing how life “could” be different or wishing you could change the past (which we all know is not possible) focus on the positives you have today.
- A bankruptcy that may have led you to be more responsible with money
- A job layoff that could have led to you starting your own business
- A nasty divorce that possibly created turmoil in your life, but without it you would never have met your soul-mate
Think of 3 things in your life today that you love and that would not be true if this event/experience had not happened.