Have you ever had something tragic in your life happen? Did you feel as if this tragedy was life changing?

My Dad passed away in August of 2016. I’m writing this blog just after a few weeks have passed and his death still hasn’t sunk in. Most days I don’t feel like he has left.

It was incredibly painful to watch the last year and a half of my Dad’s journey. He suffered from mesothelioma. This is a terminal cancer of the pleural lining of the lungs that is brought on by exposure to asbestos. The cancer has not affected many people and the research not receiving the attention it needs, so treatment and life expectancy is low.

But, my dad fought that difficult diagnosis. He went through it all; chemo, radiation, loss of weight, steroids, you name it. He had a horrible experience. However, in spite of all his suffering, most days he went about his day as normally as possible with his amazing smile and get-to-it attitude.

And this is why. There was one thing my Dad had that cancer didn’t. And that was faith. I am not the most religious person. So, growing up, my Dad always tried to get me to go to church. I’m still not a big fan of the Catholic rules and regulations. I prefer to remain spiritual, not so religious. However he loved church and I believe he was spiritual as well.

From watching my Dad as his life slowly ended, I realize that at the end of life you can really see how someone has showed up in life. What I mean by that is when things go bad for some people they blame everything and everyone—and then they blame God!

Not my Dad. What stands out most about him is his attitude of acceptance. He could have blamed the companies who contributed to his asbestos exposure, he could have blamed his job, he could have blamed the doctors, and he really could have been very pissed off at God. But, no, that was not in my Dad’s character. He took the high road. Not that he wanted to die. He fought with all his might to stay alive.

When his fight was nearly over and in the very last stages of his life my father said, “God has a bigger plan.” My brothers and sisters agreed and replied to him, “You’re right, Dad, you need to go build our home and prepare our place.”

I don’t know about you but I am not waiting until the end of my life to prepare for what is to come. I might not be the best at planning, but you can be sure I learned a life-changing lesson from all my Dad’s pain. And that is to have faith and believe with all my heart and soul that I am going to a better place than the one here on earth.

So, how can I plan for this? What will it take for me to not lose this lesson?

As I meditate each and every day I will set an intention to plan for my future by connecting and listening for what’s next. As heartbreaking as this experience has been, it has connected me more to my spirit than ever before.

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