Life of Brian: Life lessons from this last week.
So this last week sucked.
But I learned a few things that I wanted to take the time to share. Anyone who reads this can take it or leave it, I just needed to put my thoughts down.
Friday night Mrs Stilgar got a phone call that her father had, had a massive stroke and was currently in the hospital and in pretty bad shape. As if this news was not bad enough, it was also incredibly shocking as my father in law was only 53 years old and in better physical shape than most olympians.
So, We contacted Mrs Stilgar's brother to break the bad news, booked him a ticket to Ottawa and got packed and ready to drive out to Owen Sound the next afternoon.
During the drive we were getting updates that seemed positive. My father in Law was responding to people, attempting to speak, he sat up in bed when the doctor told him what had happened and his heart rate would rise when someone mentioned his kids were coming.
We got to the hospital at about 1am, where Mrs Stilgar and her brother were able to go in and see their father. They talked to him, held his hand, he squeezed theirs...
About 2am, Mrs Stilgar and I decided to take toddler Stilgar to my father in law's house. Considering the Long drive and late hour little Stilgar was being extremely well behaved, but she really needed to sleep.
Halfway to the house, another phone call came saying Mrs Stilgar needed to get back to the hospital ASAP as her father was begining to crash. She got to the hospital just in time to say goodbye before the doctors pronounced him dead. He had a no resusitate order, and an order that refused life support. Knowing my father in law, I know he would not have wanted to live in any form of crippled state.
I honestly think that my father in law understood what had happened to him. He had waited for his family to arrive so he could say goodbye and then he left...
Point 1, Family is important.
Sadly, this turn of events may also have been the kindest thing for both my father in law and the family...
The rest of the week has been spent putting his estate in order. He had picked a very good couple of friends to be his executors, a truely terrible job.
We had a get together with his close friends on Monday where we learned a whole lot about him that I, my wife and her brother didn't know. Positive things that he never told us about! His friends told us that he Never stopped talking about us, especially his grand daughter. They told us stories of how he helped the people in his community. He was a doctor, but he went WAY above and beyond time and time again to ensure that people got the best care he could get them. For example, he took time off work to drive his neighbor to Torronto for cancer treatment.
There are many many more stories that I wish I had known while he was alive.
Some of you may remember me bitching about my father in law. Some of his actions (Mainly everything to do with his love life(I wont expand on this here)) put a lot of stress on my wife. He left his kids at a young age and dispite sending child support and occasional visits, he really was not very involved in their lives.
However, about five years ago, he really began to try and reach out and reunite with his kids. He began to visit more, called weekly and texted almost daily. He had come a very very long way! There was still a lot of stress and anger but it was getting better.
Point 2, Don't judge people. I did, I thought my father in law was a bit of a selfish prick. Turns out I was wrong. Turns out he was actually a really good man but he didn't really know how be a father. But he was trying.
Going through his house, we were amazed by a few things.
1) The number of pictures he had of us! He had put up every photo we had sent him of our family and his grand daughter. This was an amazing revelation to us about how much he cared for my wife and daughter.
2) The house was full of nothing that was his...
It was so weird, He didn't care about material things. He built the house for an ex wife, and had an interior decortator go to town in it. Nothing in the living area was his, it was just there...
All of the things that were his, were in the basement. He had a gym in his house, not just a home gym, but a full out GYM!
He had an entire room dedicated to his hunting and out door gear. This was my father in law's little sanctuary. The room wasn't finished, concrete floors, exposed studded walls...but there was more in this one room that screamed his essence than in the remainder of the entire house!
The rest was in the garage. His truck, motor bike and other tools and toys.
But I have never seen a house with so many empty drawers...weird.
Point 3. Stuff is just Stuff... Don't get hung up on getting material possetions. I am not saying don't get anything, but don't get hung up on it.
Instead, focus on things that will make you happy. Spend time doing what you LOVE.
Collect friends, not stuff.
My final point.
Make the best of your time here on this planet. Make sure you do what makes you happy.
Work Hard and Play Hard!
Sorry about my ramblings...but I feel better now.
See you on the field.
Two years has flown by.
Mrs Stilgar talks about him almost daily.
His grand daughter ( age 4) was talking to her friend (almost 4) and said probably one of the funniest (in a slightly morbid way) things I have ever heard.
"My grandpa was so smart his head exploded!"
Not entirely untrue...
Having read that post again, the lessons still ring true.
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