Lessons From a Life Well-Lived
Dad, U. S. Army Air Corps, Papua New Guinea, 1944
“There’s a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ~Leonard Cohen
My brother sent me this pic today. It’s a photo of my dad in New Guinea at the American airbase. The year was 1944. My dad was just twenty years old and this was approximately twenty years before I came into the world. It made me think about how my dad used to always tell me that he was living on “borrowed time” because of all of the near-misses he experienced during The War.
When he turned 79, Dad had his first stroke. They called it minor, but he was paralyzed on his left side for a couple of weeks. I flew to Florida, where my parents had been staying for the winter, and visited him in rehab. My dad, who was one of the first joggers around the neighborhood in 1967, who had climbed mountains with me in his fifties, who had run alongside my bicycle when I was learning to ride, who ran with me three-plus miles in the rain when I was twenty and he was sixty, and just weeks before this moment, was walking with me on the five-mile loop of the Florida community my parents were living in, walking so fast that I couldn’t catch my breath to answer all of the questions he was asking me about my life, that superman, was now in a wheelchair and unable to use his left hand or his left leg. It was a nightmare to me. Amazingly, he quickly recovered most of his physical ability.