The poignant memories linger, like ink on paper that refuses to fade, even as I mark the 15th year since your departure on that fateful October 31st. Time may have moved on, but the essence of your teachings, the wisdom you embedded in our souls, remains timeless.
As I journey towards my half-century mark, life’s tapestry reveals the many threads you wove into it. Your teachings emerge in the most unexpected moments, like sunlight breaking through a cloud. Mid-lecture, in the heart of a conversation, or during a silent introspection, your voice rings out, bringing clarity and guidance.
Recently, while immersed in a class on AP Computer Science Principles, your words came back to me: “The only people that understand Doctors and Lawyers are…Doctors and Lawyers.” Wrapped in this humorous observation is a profound truth. To truly excel, one must not only grasp the intricacies of their profession but also convey them in a universally digestible manner. Whether a doctor elucidating a diagnosis or a lawyer clarifying legal complexities, you believed that the real art lay in connecting, in making the complex simple, always prioritizing the human element.
Then there was your unconventional philosophy: “Life is about pieces of paper.” At first glance, it might seem cynical, but on closer inspection, it’s a beautiful reflection on life’s milestones. Whether a degree, a certification, or a handwritten note, these ‘pieces of paper’ signify more than their tangible selves. They embody commitment, dedication, punctuality, and most of all, integrity. While life’s essence goes beyond these papers, they are tokens of our journey, proofs of our diligence, and gateways to fresh horizons. They showcase our story and vouch for our credibility.
Your profound ability to peer beneath life’s surface was unparalleled. The world saw actions; you discerned intentions. You could, in a fleeting moment, understand the depths of a person’s character. Your intuitive insights, sometimes met with skepticism, always stood the test of time, revealing their uncanny accuracy.
You were more than just a father; you were a global citizen, introducing us to a diverse palette of cultures and experiences. Is it any wonder then that your four children, each imprinted with your wanderlust, now find homes in different corners of the world? Your tales from distant lands, the souvenirs, the stories, and the lessons instilled in us a curiosity that went beyond textbooks.
There’s a collage of memories that play in my mind: the impromptu movie nights where Robin Hood was followed by pizza and another film; the thrill of gliding in the Scottish skies, embracing the unknown and learning to dance with the winds; or the unforgettable day when, after hours of home decoration, you unveiled tickets to a Star Wars marathon. In these moments, woven with spontaneity and joy, were lessons of courage, of seizing the day, and of finding magic in the mundane.
“Always play the long game,” you’d counsel. It wasn’t just advice; it was a philosophy. In a world obsessed with immediacy, you taught me the value of patience, of resilience, and of working towards a vision that went beyond short-term gains.
The physicality of our bond might have changed after you left, but its essence has only evolved. Initially, the pain of loss was like an unyielding stone in my heart. But time, coupled with therapy, introspection, and an understanding of grief, has reshaped that stone into a compass, guiding me. Now, when I seek counsel or simply miss your presence, the universe responds. Be it through a chance encounter, a book, or a sudden epiphany, your wisdom finds its way back to me.
You were much more than the roles you played. More than just a father or a mentor. You were an embodiment of wisdom, a beacon of light, and a wellspring of love. Whether or not you’ve reached Erickson’s stage of Integrity versus Despair remains an enigma. But what’s unequivocal is the legacy you’ve left behind.
Your choices, your lessons, and your spirit continue to reverberate through our lives. In every decision we make, every person we touch, and every lesson we pass on, traces of you live on. You showed us that endings can be new beginnings and that influence can transcend time and space.
Your journey in the physical world might have culminated fifteen years ago, but your journey in our hearts, our thoughts, and our actions is eternal.