These past few weeks have been as crazy busy as ever for me and I’m trying to figure out why. It’s August, shouldn’t everyone be on vacation?! Of course, I won’t ever figure out the Universe and how it works, but I have given myself permission to stop and make every minute count – something that was a powerful lesson when I decided to take a last minute trip to New Orleans to visit my Dad.
I wasn’t expecting to write about this week, and because I’ve been SO busy, I haven’t posted a blog in a long while…so as I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write, this whole stream of consciousness came to me—my recent last minute decision to visit my Dad.
The sad truth is I haven’t seen him in over 2 years, which I felt really bad about. I’m a victim of just letting my life get in the way, which I so regret now. You see, my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I knew he was struggling, but he still called me every week and we still had our chats until recently when he fell and I got a call from my step mother. It was then I made the last minute decision to book a plane ticket and leave the next day for New Orleans to see him.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Thank goodness I had some books on Alzheimer’s and I had this wonderful book my incredible Executive Coach Debbie Phillips recommended called Final Gifts. I was able to skim over a few and bring a few with me for the long plane ride to where I grew up, my home town of New Orleans.
I don’t want to bore you with all the details of my visit. But what I do want to say is when I arrived late that night it was then that I so got how precious each moment is and how I just don’t want to waste them anymore. In fact, it was my Dad who said to me once during my visit that he just takes each minute as it comes, that’s all he could do.
And so my journey continues with my Dad. And when I was there visiting with him, I just made each minute count and focused on the little glimpses of him and the memories that we’ve shared over our lifetime. My Dad is an amazing man and a wonderfully talented doctor, a gastroenterologist who built an incredible practice. I just remember how his patients loved him and the joy he got from helping people heal.
So I went from New Orleans with my Dad, to our summer home in Maine where I flew my Mom up to spend some time with us at our lake house for her birthday. She’d never been to Maine before and has had the most amazing time of firsts, from going on a jet ski to riding an ATV…
This month has been one of healing, grief, joy and focusing on making every minute count, not just with my Mom and Dad, but with my own family as well. I forget how fragile life can be and honestly, when I die, I’m not going to wish I had worked more – I’m going to wish I had made more memories with my family, and laughed more and had more fun…. So this week’s message isn’t about work at all, it’s just simply about life… I hope you can stop and enjoy every minute and make them count. We all need to laugh often and spend quality time with those we love… and to anyone out there with a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s, my heart goes out to you.