Today marks the three year anniversary since my father, (Arthur Gene Sale in the picture with me above), suddenly passed away due to a heart attack; he was four months away from turning 61. I’m writing this today as a way to reflect on things and to pose a question to you.
My dad was a lover of science fiction, old school horror films, fishing, classic radio shows like The Shadow, was a history buff (especially anything surrounding World War II), had a sharply sarcastic sense of humor, and enjoyed Halloween. He passed the proverbial torch to me in a lot of these areas. I regret nothing.
Our relationship was a complicated one. Father and son didn’t always see eye to eye on choices each of us made. His cynical nature grated me at times as well as the way he would turn anything into a lecture. The fact I am naturally a dreamer and stubborn to a fault frustrated him no doubt; Spock was his friend. There was a period where we weren’t speaking much for various reasons. However, the last few years of his life saw a thawing out between us. We were talking more. He would pop into the chat room and listen to me anytime I was doing a podcast episode; he was my biggest fan. I know he got a kick out of the time I got to be a part of interviewing Victoria Price for instance.
The first three months after my father died, things were in a bit of a fog. I don’t remember a lot of it and my memory is usually very good. I had to tell family members he hadn’t spoken to in years about his passing, make snap decisions regarding funeral arrangements etc, and try to come to grips with the fact I had lost a person I expected to be there for many years down the road. My world had changed.
I’m grateful for all the moments my father and I shared as I sit here three years later. He is one of the reasons who I am today. If I could tell my younger self, (not just me from three years ago but much earlier), anything, I’d probably say things like:
- “Never lose that child-like enthusiasm for the people, places, and things around you.”
- “Before you can forgive anyone for things they have done to you, you must first forgive yourself.”
- “Failure breeds character but only if you learn from it.”
- “You have to trust yourself more; you are stronger than you realize.”
- “You are going to make decisions in your life; that is part of growing up. Not all of them will be smart. Some will affect you for years before you can mend fences so to speak. But you will! And your dad will be proud of you because you right your mistakes.”
What about you? What would you tell your younger self if given the opportunity? If you are comfortable sharing, leave it in the comments.