(My son and his girlfriend before their prom last night. I didn’t include a picture of my daughter because she’s across the country at college and I don’t have any recent pictures)
In my former career, I’ve had the honor, sometimes sad, often poignant, of witnessing the last moments of countless human being in their last conscious moments on Earth. Some struggled, others screamed in pain, but several were at peace.
I’ve often wondered what my last few moments will be like. What will I think of? Will my life flash before my eyes? Will I be glad that I made of lot of money and had cool houses and cars? Or will I think of my kids?
I already know the answer…not because I’ve experienced it (although I have had two near-death experiences in dreams so profound, that I’m certain they were celestially-inspired and will be exactly the “calm” I’ll feel) but because at my core, there is one primary need: that my kids are safe and healthy.
There have been three deaths within the last three weeks of men and women the same age as my kids. One died after falling off a cliff at a party spot at UCSB; I don’t know whether drugs/alcohol was a factor. Another occurred early last week when a 19 y/o male, high on ecstascy, crashed his car head on into another car, killing his passenger, a recent alumni of my kids school. And finally, a day later, a young man my son’s age died as the result of an overdose. Three dead, two as the direct result of drugs, third to be determined.
I’ve shared somewhat here about my recovery from alcoholism, but more importantly I’ve shared my experience with my kids…in detail. I’ve included them in my journey, we have frank and open discussions about drugs and alcohol.
I have no idea what the future holds for either of my kids, but I know it is bright…one in college, one college-bound and stressing like crazy about getting into a good university, which I believe he will.
In those last few moments of my life, as the otherworldly peace that I experienced in my dreams envelops me, I believe I will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that I had a profound and positive impact on the lives of my kids. I certainly couldn’t provide them with the things I wanted to financially, but as of this moment..right now…I believe they are on the path to leading lives I could only have dreamed of. And I am proud of the part I played in that…proud beyond measure.
I mention this not to toot my own horn, or break my arm patting myself on the back. I mention it because there are plenty of times where I feel sorry for myself that I’ve lost some things financially and am not currently able to provide for them financially like I used to…but during my “used to” times…I didn’t even know my kids, and can barely recall those times, as my brain was fogged and my soul was wrapped up in the disease of “me-ism”.
So yeah…well done me…not for making my kids into awesome individuals, but for having the instincts to get the hell out of the way, and provide them with a safe emotional path the last few years to become the superstars the are becoming.
Nice job…et al.