Friday, July 25, 2008

Last Lecture Ruminations

Having read the story of Randy Pausch, I have been thinking a lot today about things. I will admit, that despite my programming background, I was not up on this story before today - I never watched his 'Last Lecture' at Carnegie Mellon, and I wasn't aware of the book either. Despite this, I was definitely very interested in the story. As some of my faithful readers know, I lost my father a few years ago. We didn't know that we were going to lose him - he wasn't in the greatest of health, but there was no medical diagnosis giving up some sort of timeline. One Monday night, I got a call from my mom that my father was dead. That was it. I have often thought about this since then. Would I have rather known that this was coming so I could prepare? Would I want to be subjected to the drawn out process - watching a strong rock of a man fade away slowly? Would I want to go to doctors and hospitals with him? How would that effect me? My mom?

In the end, I think I decided that I had spent a lot of good time with my father. He met the person I wanted to marry, and he thought she was great. He raised me, and watched me become a successful young professional (this was not always a sure bet if you asked anyone but my father, mind you). He was proud of me, and we talked every day. I lost him that day, but I didn't lose all the years leading up to that day, and all the wisdom he lent me during our talks still lives on in my heart and in my mind.

What I decided I could not have handled was losing my father and feeling cheated, like I know so many people do when they lose someone before it's 'time'. Anyone out there who is in a situation with a loved one where things aren't good right now - I would say, no matter what's happening between you, just drop them a line, and tell them that even though things aren't great now, you love them and appreciate them.

So where I started to go on this rambling mess of a post is that this professor had young kids, kids who are never going to get the benefit of his fatherhood all their lives. And it just made me so sad for them, because while I didn't get as much time as I would have liked, I got a lot more than a lot of others and I felt lucky. At least they get the legacy he left behind as a model for how to approach life. It is important. Don't just blow through the days and end the day the same person you were when you woke up. Life's too short for that. I appreciate the message, but man, they are so young. It really sucks.

Anyway, when I get married in six weeks, I would have loved for my father to be there in person to celebrate, but in my heart I know he will be with us all in spirit, as cheesy as that sounds. The entire thing brought my mother and closer together, and Jena and I as well. I don't have to feel down. I guess I am trying to say that this whole thing made me realize that I am okay. Sorry for the babble. Just wanted to get that off my chest.


lapsed cannibal said...

This is lovely, Kirk, and nicely said.