The Three F's for a Fulfilling LifeSep 16, 2022
It's never easy to lose someone you love. Saying goodbye to my Father was especially hard as he was a significant source of wisdom in my life. He also allowed me to be the same for him. We had mutual respect and appreciation for both our strengths and human weaknesses.
When I thought about speaking at his celebration of life event, I realized how easy it was to summarize a well-lived life. He would be humbled to realize his very flawed experience is also an inspiration that I invite each of us to consider.
He was quite simple and complex at the same time. Here is an invitation I offer you to consider for yourself:
The Three F's for a Fulfilling Life. (The letter F supports his colorful language-he would love the acknowledgment!)
FAITH was the cornerstone of my Dad's life. He believed in God and his Church although he struggled with this faith up until the end. He always feared he wasn't good enough, but he never wavered in the love and belief in something greater than himself. He accepted others' beliefs but never budged in his own faith perspective.
Anyone who came to know him felt his beliefs even though he may never speak directly about them. It showed up in his seeing the good in others, especially the young people he taught, and his sense of right and wrong. He honored the "grayness" of absolute answers and he knew about the power of forgiveness.
FAMILY and FRIEND love was powerful in his life. He told me dreamed of having a family when he was a young boy. I was born 10 months after he married to support that dream. He raised 5 more children from that marriage and 7 additional children who came into his life from future marriages.
Each one of his children had a unique relationship with him. Love was always abundant as was the discipline to assist us with becoming the best version of ourselves. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren were treasured and important.
He valued friendship with many men and women and the students he taught. If you were his friend he would be there if you needed him. His main goal was to help you do for yourself with his support. The stories at his life celebration were remarkable. I have so many personal examples of him knowing just the right thing to say or do at the right moment!
FUN was always a possibility when "Mo" was around. He had a zest for life, learning, and laughter. He was always trying something new no matter his age: going into teaching in his 40's, getting a commercial scuba diving license in his 50's, running marathons in his 60's, and skydiving in his 70's.
Everything was fun-although FISHING is the bonus F that included all three F's as he prayed for fish, involved his family and friends in fishing, and was always about the fun of the next cast of his rod! There was always the next big fish to catch!
I will be grateful when I die if it is said that I was faithful, loved family and friends, and focused on fun! What a prescription for a life well lived.
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