This is my Dad. The picture speaks for itself. My Father was an all around great guy: hard working, fun loving and always had a joke.
The last 2 years of his life were tough (disease and illness) but he fought hard and conquered everything, well almost. It’s hard to watch your super hero fade but even at age 70 he worked out daily and golfed a couple times per week. When I say worked out that usually involved placing bets on how many push ups he could do – silly 20 year olds, he always took their money.
Three days before he passed I remember my Mom asking his doctor “the” question – how long do you think he has. Expecting to hear months we were crushed to hear weeks, and we actually only got 3 short days. Later that night when we were alone, he was such a Dad – comforting me, preparing me and sharing his final wisdom.
Dad knew I’d been struggling with some baby weight from my third child. So he started to tell me about a magazine article he had read a few weeks prior. The article spoke of healthy lifestyle changes that can add years to your life. I can not for the life of me remember the specific change Dad told me about but basically this one little thing had the potential to add six years to your life.
He reached out to take my hand. With is brow furrowed, Dad asked “Do you know what six years is?” He went on “I’ve lived a good life and I’ll go when it’s my time, but six years is everything right now.” In his Southern way “You’re young and this may seem like a lifetime away, but six years would let me watch my grand-baby turn double digits” (my first born daughter was just 4).
And that final wisdom he shared?
Please. Regina, take care of yourself. Be an example to your children – because nothing tastes like six years.
No more words were necessary. I knew this was my last “Dad talk”. There would be no more mis-spelled notes inside my birthday cards, and no more quick hugs around my shoulders just to ask how life was treating me. THIS was the last thing he wanted me to hear, Nothing tastes like six years.
*Everyday we are given a choice. We put things in our body and the body of our children that either add to the quality and longevity of our lives or subtract from it. We may not all agree on what specific foods those are – but we KNOW it’s not chips, snack cakes and “most” drive through fare. If you’re awake there is no way to avoid seeing the “health crisis” in our country.
Choose nutrient dense foods – by the way, they’re NOT beige!