Yesterday I had an awesome day. It was my birthday. But, this post isn’t about my birthday. It’s about something that stayed with me during the entire course of the day and perhaps you’ve experienced it in your own life.
On social media alone, I received over 700 birthday wishes at last count. I am incredibly humbled and grateful for that.
But, there was one birthday wish that was missing, and as the wishes came pouring in it became increasingly evident that this wish was absent. The reason was very simple and it hung in my thoughts throughout an otherwise incredible day. I missed the birthday wish from my dad.
My father, Matt Elsey, passed away last March in front of me. It was one of the most profound moments in my life. Scratch that – it was the most profound moment in my life. I think for the first time, I really understood the meaning of a broken heart. I wrote about my dad in a piece you can read here.
Since that terrible day last year, I’ve always felt a piece of my heart is missing. Do you know what I mean by that? Do you have a hollow piece in your heart where a scar has taken the place of someone you loved and cared for?
Although there have been holidays between that fateful day in March and other occasions, my birthday was always a special day for me. And it’s not because it was all about me – it’s because it was all about him – my dad.
Every year on my birthday, since as long as I can remember, my father would make my birthday special for me. Through the years, it was in dozens and dozens of little ways. When I was a kid it was with a cool present, and, as the years passed, it was simply with one special gesture.
All he had to do was call and tell me: “Son, it’s your day and I’m proud of you.”
As an adult it didn’t matter what I was doing or where in the world I was, when Matt Elsey called me that was the moment on my birthday that I received my most special gift.
I miss that call.
I miss the sound of his voice.
I make it a point to remember it. In fact, I never want to forget his voice for the rest of my life. Perhaps you share the feeling of loss of a beloved parent with me?
Today, as I reflect on my first birthday without that call from my dad, I have something to share with you.
We all live very busy lives. Sometimes it feels as if we’re on some theme park ride going round and round. That’s fine. We all have responsibilities and things to do.
But, remember this: no one lives forever. Treasure the days you have with your family and friends. They are numbered. Be aware of the time you spend with everyone who comes across your path. You never know why they were placed there, and it may make a difference in your life. Or, perhaps you’ll matter a lot more than you will ever realize in someone else’s life.
So, cherish your days and moments with everyone. You never know if you’ll be able to make that call, or be the one expecting it when it matters most on a special day.
Author of “Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life” (Free Digital Download)
© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.