My dad passed away almost a year ago and I have been forever changed.
I have written this before, but I feel that everything has just slowed down a bit. Life doesn’t seem as fast paced as what it once was and his passing has made me refocus. It is often said that great athletes see the game they play at a slower pace and can recognize things coming at them differently. I feel that since my dad has passed, the game has slowed down for me. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.
In the last year, I have taken the time to focus more on myself and the people closest to me. I have enjoyed having some of those people experiencing great things with me. I have tweeted less, blogged less, and feel like I have lived and experienced more. I learned quickly that life is short and although I want to make a difference in the world, I also want to appreciate those closest to me and make a difference with them. I have not been as successful with those relationships in many ways, but I have tried harder. I have spent better time with fewer people.
Although I started this site to be an “educational blog”, it was weird for me at first to write about personal things in this space. I have written about times that I have struggled personally, and events such as when I lost my first dog, and the opportunity for reflection in an open space, I feel, has made me more cognizant of my own life. Many people get turned off by this type of writing in what is an “educational space”, but what I realized is that this space was never meant to be focused solely on education, but always on learning. If you don’t think that you learn something when your dad dies that applies to the kids you deal with every day in a school, you are wrong. How much will a kid care about math when they lose someone close to them? The human connection that we have in schools will be the reason that schools will always be relevant and these life lessons, and how we deal with them, bring a lot to our students. If you only teach the curriculum to a child, you have come up short.
In a weird way, I feel closer to my dad now more than ever. I make it a focus to talk about him when I speak to honour his impact on me as an educator, but more importantly, as a person. When you lose someone, you always have regrets on what you didn’t do or say, but I am trying to focus on what my dad gave me and what I can give others.
Am I where I want to be? When I ask this question, I am not talking about my career but my development as a person. I know that I have a long way to go but these moments in life teach you a lot about yourself, where you have been, and where you want to go.
I miss my dad every day, but I know that even though he is gone, my continuous reflection on his life and what I learned from him, ensure that he will impact me and help me grow as a person and teacher.