In December 2018 my world changed in a way I never thought it could. After 4 years of an active battle against leukemia, my Daddy left this side of Earth. I am a Daddy’s girl through and through and was heartbroken. But even in his death, my Daddy was teaching us all some very valuable life lessons. This is what I learned about life when my Daddy died.
It’s Never Too Late to Start
My father’s entire career was in academics and he believed that education was the pathway to a better life for all who committed themselves to it. Earning a college degree is the least he expected of us. My father, my mother, and my sister all have PhDs. The greatest disagreement between him and me was my need for an advanced degree. He thought I needed one and I didn’t.
He pushed me for years to get a master’s degree in engineering but I couldn’t finish with the job I had at the time. Then he encouraged me to get an MBA and that never landed at all. I spent a few years living life my way, left corporate America, and began raising my family full time and he stopped pushing. So I let it go, too.
When he shared that he had stopped his treatment and would no longer actively fight his leukemia I made a huge decision. I wanted to honor his legacy and pursue a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. It was a major mindset shift for me. I am over 40, haven’t been in school for more than 20 years, and actively raising three teenagers. But knowing that I would carry on a legacy when my Daddy died was important to me. To fulfill a lifelong desire for him makes it worth it.
We now have a middle schooler, a high schooler, an undergraduate, and a graduate student in our family. And the graduate student has the best GPA. LOL
Live for Today, Plan for Tomorrow
If you looked up the word frugal in the dictionary you should find a picture of Daddy. He was diligent about saving and investing money. When I graduated college he said, “Congratulations,” and then, “Start a Roth IRA.” I’m not even joking.
He made life insurance a priority. My mother lives comfortably from the policies he left and each of his children got a little something, something too. Life insurance is not a death wish even though some think it is a morbid topic.
My Daddy used life insurance to take care of his family even without his presence. You can do the same with life insurance from Erie Insurance. Obtaining life insurance from Erie Insurance is easier than you think. Click this link to learn how you can also protect your family when you’re no longer here.
Another lesson my Daddy taught was to be frugal but spend big when it counts. A wish he never fulfilled was a family trip to Washington D.C. with a visit to the National Museum of African American Heritage and Culture. But he left the money to make sure we were able to go. And we enjoyed every moment.
Let Your Life Be Your Legacy
The best lesson he taught me in death was live a life that becomes your legacy. I met so many students who revered him and hung on his every word when my Daddy died. I was humbled to learn how many lives he touched and the impact he left on others.
My Daddy taught me to honor your commitments. The day before he passed away he convinced my brother and husband to take him to his office so he could change a student’s grade before the semester closed. I hope that student knows the commitment Daddy put toward his/her success.
My Daddy loved his family, friends, and especially enjoyed having a good time. He lived in his purpose every single day. He did what he was created to do and did it with joy. “I am so proud of you,” were some of the last words he ever spoke to me. And I know my job is to continue to make him proud by the way I live out my legacy.
What kind of legacy are you preparing to leave for your family?