I was in Grade 7 and we had to interview one of our parents on a topic , so I decided to corner my Dad and ask him why he smoked and he smiled at me and said " it keeps the mosquitos away" That was how my Dad was . He didn't try to make things complicated or even justify the purpose , he saw the very simple solution and this made him very content .
And after all thats what I am searching for - this simple solution to Happiness . Maybe it was here , in my past and in his words . I poured myself a glass of wine and grabbed a photo of him and I sitting on the banks of the river by our farm .
The loss of a parent never really goes away - the urge to reach out for advice, it is still there and now all you can do is look up to the sky and hope they guide you in the right direction ,I thought about all of the conversations we used to have and how he tried to give me the right advice . Here are some things I distinctly remember
1) Your twenties , thirties , forties and fifties will never feel like that's where you are . And yes , we go back to the past and wish this and that . My Dad said " I would NEVER wish to go back to a younger era, it was so painful and now I know more and I can make better decisions. Although he did say , when he would get out of his chair and his legs hurt " these are not the Golden Years , they are the Rusty Years " He said he never wanted to grow old. he didn't - he died when he was 67 from Cancer . No more hurting bones.
2) Bad things will happen to you . I remember driving home from Swift Current crying the whole way because some guy broke up with me .He sat me down and said - " it may seem the most difficult thing you are going through right now but I can assure you there will be many more. In the morning when you wake up , put on a happy - thats the best way to tackle life .
3) First impressions are not usually correct .My dad was a very humble person and the only thing he flaunted was his yard at the farm and what he had built there . He never openly spoke about how much land he had , or money .He also never EVER judged other people by what the drove or wore. When I got my real estate license we bought this station wagon with the fake wood doors . At first I was furious because I had to drive this car but you know what , I worked my ass off like he taught me and just over a year later I was driving a forest green Cherokee with gold trim. I bought it used and actually have never bought a new car - because I dont need to . And I don't need to ensure I have a Tesla . I buy what is practical for me market .It takes work not to be judgemental - especially if you are single !
4) Little things will stick with you -My dad was the best at making the most of his time with you. He liked holding me on his lap while I played the Sears organ he bought me and we would sing " Oh Susanna together .We never went to DisneyLand , we never even had a tv after Grade 7 , and those things I feel contributed to who I am . My dad taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature , the value of silence and the preciousness of a Father and daughter spending time together . If I can offer advice to parents , the simpleness of the time I spent with my dad was way better that anything he could buy me or any trip. I do feel like Covid as brought that back to many families.
5) Go for It- My dad always told me to chase my dreams . He didn't always approve of what i chose but he accepted it and said " whatever you do , you always always do your best "He taught me the importance of goals. On Saturday nights we would sit and talk and he would have a pencil and note book and he would write out how much land he wanted to buy next year and what he wanted to add to the farm .
I miss him everyday , he would have loved Arizona and Mexico and I do feel sad that I lost my parents before they could come and visit me and see what I have accomplished , I now realize those words , those times we spent together have helped me become the successful but more importantly kind person I am .
Love Retta :)