When I was young..
He told me, life isn’t easy. You have to work hard if you want to make an impact. He worked steady midnights, 7 days a week for over 20 years. Never heard him complain. He taught me integrity and what it takes to be a good man. How to put the needs of others before your own. Even if it was cold & rainy outside, the stadium empty, he never missed any of my games. Every morning before I went to school, he would make breakfast for the both of us.
Those were some of the thoughts flashing through my head when my dad was about to go under the knife. My sister and I had spent almost the entire month prior on WebMD, exhaustively studying, researching and learning everything we could about his pancreatic condition. I’m sure many others would, or have done the same. He had been in the hospital for almost 8 months now (admitted 1 month after he had retired). I remember vividly sitting in the pre-op unit with him, my mom and the surgeon (Dr. Liu), talking about the uncertainty of the procedure. Having no medical background whatsoever, I remember asking Dr. Liu if we could try removing the infected abscess percutaneously? I knew it was much less invasive, but with a lower success rate. He agreed to try the procedure. After another 3 months went by, for the first time in almost a year, his condition actually started improving.
After being told by two separate surgeons on two different occasions that it’s unlikely that he’ll make it, over 20 blood transfusions, 50 PICC insertions, 4 different hospitals .. thankfully, he recovered.
The point of this story is not about what he endured, but rather what I learned from him during his ordeal. It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most in life; it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.
I think we have to appreciate that we’re alive for only a limited period of time, and we’ll spend most of our lives working. That being the case, I believe one of the most important priorities is to do whatever we do as well as we possibly can. We should take pride in that. Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that in my opinion, is true strength.
So, as I sit here fired up with enthusiasm, working toward my passions and trying to build something great, regardless how the chips may fall or the problems I may face down the road, I will always remember what I learned from my dad, and enjoy the little things in life.