I had to say goodbye to my father last week. He died unexpectedly on Father’s Day after spending the day with family and friends. It was quite a shock, especially since he was in a good mood and joking around with everyone earlier in the day.
He was a teacher by profession and appropriately, taught me much during his life. He gave guidance regarding school, career choices and later on, my business. (He also tried to give me advice about my love life, but that didn’t go over very well).
I would say though, one of the most important things he taught me was what not to do.
While he was alive, he took extreme care of his finances, his family and his friends. However, the one thing he was not diligent about was his health. He wasn’t a salad eater, didn’t engage in exercise (as so many immigrants of that generation) and didn’t drink enough water.
All these habits (or lack of habits) took their toll on him as he got older. And even though both his children are in the health field, we couldn’t get him to change.
It was difficult to watch this vibrant man become sicker and less animated, but it has given me something to consider about my own health as I grow older.
I am very much like my father — as my mother likes to remind me! Some of his genes are my genes. Some of his personality traits are mine too. Because of this, I have to fight off the temptation of the couch and go to the gym. I have to push away the nachos and order a salad. I have to make sure that I get and stay healthier so I can be a better version of my father.
Because I think that’s what he would want for me.