I certainly know this to be the case in my life. There have been many, many times when the course of my life has taken a sharp turn. These were not always turns I was ready for, nor were they welcome ones. And yet, I had no choice. I was forced accept what had happened and somehow figure out what to do with it. Sometimes I was able to adapt quickly; other times the change came with much resistance and angst. In the end of course, I had no choice. A change had come into my life, altering it so that it would never be quite the same.
This was the case when Jim had his heart attack. It was also the case several years back, when my father died on a fishing trip with my brothers, Jim and my brothers-in-law. The shock of events such as these cause us to first want to stop the change. We cannot imagine that it could possibly be true, and we cannot imagine how we will survive it, let alone accept it. And yet, eventually, accept it we must. In the end, there is no choice.
I was thinking about changes such as these this week. I guess that with Father’s Day approaching I'm take time to think of my own father and to be thankful for him. I’d love to spend one more afternoon with him. The good news is that it would just be a very normal afternoon. We wouldn’t have anything to resolve, nor would we need to have a deep conversation of things unsaid. My dad was the kind of person who left no room for doubt about his love. He was not a man to offer words of love freely, but the heart he wore on his sleeve spoke volumes. I’d love for him to meet his new great-grandson.
I’m thankful every Father’s Day for Jim too. Our children have been blessed, as I was, to have a father who loves very deeply. Unlike my Dad though, Jim not only wears his love on his sleeve, he also professes it often and sincerely. Love is not unspoken with this man.
Sometimes when life changes on a dime, the change is a good one. When Kaitlyn and Matt brought Benjamin into the world in January, their lives also changed on a dime. Of course, they had been ‘preparing’ for nine months. They had read (and read and read) book after book telling them what to expect. But nothing could prepare them for the reality. Just like millions before them, life changed on a dime.
This week, on Tuesday, Matt came home from work as usual and settled in for his Ben time. On this sunny day, he took Benjamin out into the backyard. Kaitlyn says that she looked out the kitchen window and rushed to get her phone as she caught sight of the deep ‘conversation’ Matt and Ben were engaged in. When I saw the picture of the two of them sitting in their red chairs, my eyes just filled. This Father’s Day will be Matt’s first. Just as I was so lucky to have a Dad like my dad, and my children are so lucky to have Jim, and Matt was so lucky to have his Dad, Hughie, so is Benjamin such a lucky little boy to have Matt for his dad; a dad who makes time to spend with him, a dad who wants to listen to him, a dad who cares for him and loves him beyond what I’m sure he could have imagined.
I try to be thankful for all of the ‘dimes’ my life has turned on. For every one that has brought me to my knees in sorrow, I have had in equal measure, ones that have brought me to my knees in gratitude. This Father’s Day, I’ll be thankful for the ‘dime’ moments that brought little Benjamin and his dad, Matt into our lives. It is not lost on me that not only can these ‘dime’ moments happen to us, but they can also be created by us. We can choose to make changes ‘on a dime’.
My inquiry for you this week is, ‘Where is the dime?’
Happy Father’s Day.
Elizabeth is a life and leadership coach in Calgary, AB. She provides leadership coaching for individuals and groups and she creates and facilitates custom workshops for corporate, public and private groups. Contact Elizabeth to help you or your organization to figure out how to manage the ‘dime’ moments in your life.