Listen. That is me.

Thirteen years ago today, I received news that my dad had died. His cancer, aggressive and painful, had been diagnosed the year before. I spent more time with him during his treatment phase and palliative care than in the 40 years prior. 

My dad shaped me in his lifetime, more by his absence than his presence. I did not really know him well before his diagnosis. Long phone conversations and visits during treatments helped me learn that he did his best. Does it matter in the end if it was enough? Their best is all anyone can give. 

He did leave me with something valuable; a secret weapon. “Whenever someone asks you about yourself, in an interview or any time, pretend I’m on your shoulder. What would I say about you?” It works every time. 

And when the wind whistles and the rain drops softly; when the leaves brush the ground and the snow softly blankets your world, listen. That is me. I am reminding you that, whatever lies ahead, you will be not just be okay; you will soar. 

I hear you.