When we're growing up, we all have someone that influences our lives and usually we don't realize it until much later in life. I'm not talking about you Mom or Dad, or both. I'm not even talking about a family member. For some, it'a a teacher or professor. For some it's a Coach. For me, it was a friends father. What was even better about my friends father is that he didn't just impact my life, along with his own children's, he impacted everyone that came into contact with him.
My friends father passed away this weekend and I thought I would share with him, and you, the life lesson that he taught me (along with everyone else that knew him). Now keep in mind, it took me a long time to realize what Mr. H was trying to teach us but I did realize it.
The most important thing that I ever learned from my friends Father was that nothing is handed to you and you shouldn't expect it. You have to work hard to get what you want. Not only do you have to work hard but you have to go after it. If you put the work in (practice) then the payoff at the end will be accomplishing your goals. Of course, I got that lesson from my parents as well but let's be real, who really pays attention to what their parents are saying when you're a kid? Ok, I can think of a few people (Mr. H's kids come to mind) but I wasn't one of those kids.
In the long run, the person that I'm writing this for is my friend who lost his father this weekend. I'd like him to know that I am beyond proud of him! Although we lost touch for an extended period of time I'm happy that we were able to reconnect. I'd like him to know that he was and remains an idol of mine. I've looked up to you since we were kids (yes we're the same age) but that doesn't make a difference. I'd also like him to know that his father inspired so many people in our community and most of those people turned out to be pretty awesome humans. You Dad played a giant role in so many lives and I'm not sure he or you ever realized it.
As I wrap this up, first I'd like to thank you for reading it. Second, I hope it made some kind of sense. The thoughts have been bouncing around in my head since Saturday and it's hard to keep everything straight.
For those of you that read this that weren't part of my childhood, here's what I'd like you to take away from this - There are and will be people who will touch your life without you realizing it at the time. If you can, try to pay attention to the people around you and what they're telling you. It may sound like some craziness at the time but chances are, they're telling you whatever it is because they've been through it. They know what they're talking about and they're trying to better you and prepare you for what could lie ahead.
RIP Mr. H