When I’m No Longer Here

Today is my dad’s birthday. I was going to say “Today was my dad’s birthday,” since he is no longer living, but I think your birthday is always in the present tense, even if you are no longer around to acknowledge it.

I think about my dad a lot. Mindy Kaling, referring to her mother’s death in an interview with Marie Claire shared,

“I always am experiencing her loss. But the way I’m experiencing her loss now, the focus changes as it gets further and further away. I can now remember, not as much the times when she was sick and dying, but the lessons I learned from her when she was young and healthy.”

I feel that way about my dad. Growing up he would say the same things over and over again–life lessons that he hoped would be so ingrained in us that we wouldn’t be left wondering what to do when life came at us unexpectedly. “You’re gonna remember this when I’m no longer here,” he’d say, as I’d quietly sigh and roll my eyes when I thought he wasn’t looking (he was). And he was right. I do remember, both the wise and the unhelpful, and so I share a few of these unsolicited snippets with you. Do with them what you wish. *cue eye rolls*

Every action has a reaction.

When someone loses someone, just say “I’m sorry.” Anything else you say to try and be helpful won’t be.

Don’t let anybody drive your car.

Always be the best that you can be. There’s always going to be someone better than you, but you be the best you can be.

Don’t be a sore loser.

If you don’t know something, say so.

Take responsibility for your actions. If you want someone to blame look in the mirror.

Happy birthday, dad.

2 responses to “When I’m No Longer Here”

  1. Happy birthday to Gus. Through you I feel like I really know him well. I even know all his sayings now. haha

  2. So beautiful.

    I learned from your dad (indirectly through you) not to leave anything in the car in plain sight when you’re parked in public, even water. You never know if someone walking by will be thirsty enough to break in and take it.
    🙂 good advice!!

    Love you 🤍

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