At the end of each year we tap the creative community on the shoulder to find out what it is is they've learned over the past 365 days of doing their thing. The responses are varied — some are short, some are long, but all reflect valuable insight gained.
Our second installment is brought to us by Aaron Draplin of the DDC. If you follow Aaron's prolific writing at all then you know that, sadly, he lost his father a few weeks ago. He kindly agreed to take part in our roundup. What he delivered is poignant and quite literally hits home.
I didn't learn a new lesson, as much as had an old one reinforced. My dad died on October 13th and he was a CHAMPION of a man. He was funny as hell, loved Mom, held all the babies, played Santa, donated money to charity, had an arsenal of jokes, displayed a ferocious wit and loved life. My dad lit up every room he was in. Facts are stubborn things.
Growing up, I made it a point to keep a close relationship with my mom and Dad. I moved out west when I was a young kid, and there's been a distance of 2,500 miles between us for a long time. I fought hard to get home as much as I could, or bring them to Portland every 3-4 months. And I did.
In fact, this year alone, I was with mom and dad some three months. Considering my road schedule, projects and distance away from Michigan, that's pretty fuckin' good.
The lesson reinforced is this: When they go, they go. And you better have gotten your time in with them before that. Luckily, I did. Thankful forever.
I miss my dad so bad. And shit's still hurting pretty bad. But, that sadness is quickly snubbed out by how thankful I am for the relationship we had for the 40 years of my life.
Friends: Pick up a phone and call yer parents. Send an email. Hop a flight and go see 'em. Mend things. Load the kids up in the rig and show up on their doorstep. Whatever it takes.