My milestone birthdays, 40 and 50, were, for me, like for many others I suppose. A time of reflection on key questions…from whether I’m where I want to be in my life to wondering if there really is a tightening, brightening serum that will help diminish the signs of aging as I enter a new decade.
But this year, my 52nd, hits me like no other. When my father turned 52 (25 years ago), he did not know that he only had another 15 days left on this physical planet.
I wonder if he would have done anything differently, said anything differently, if he’d known.
Would I, if I had known?
Suffice to say that this year’s Birthday has gotten me deep in contemplation. I know his death, as well as his life, shaped much of who I am today.
I got his sense of adventure, high energy personality and love of writing and public speaking. I also got his nose, but when I was born my mom said “there’s always plastic surgery.” (But let’s be real, the gene pool when it comes to noses in my family is shallow, so I think I actually made out ok).
I wonder what our conversation would be like today.
One significant lesson I took from his death is to live without regret because life and time is precious, and that is something I do not take for granted.
Take that trip. Say I love you first. Write that book. Be vulnerable. Eat the cupcake.
Most of all, live in alignment with your values, and be generous, grateful and kind.
PS In Indian Princesses (of which I was a proud member), I took the name “Princess Little Flower.” And, as you can see in this photo, my dad is sporting the “Chief Little Flower” sign since it was customary for dads to adopt their daughters’ Indian Princess name. It’s important to note that he soon after broke with tradition and renamed himself “Chief Yellow Hand.” I have no idea where the yellow hand came from, but it was definitely more dad-like that “Chief Little Flower.”