Capturing and Transferring What Matters Most?

A few days ago was the 1 year anniversary of my father’s death.  He battled alzehimer’s for over 10 years.  This weekend I reflected on some of my most favorite memories of my father and I realized all those memories are in my head.  They are not written down or recorded anywhere.  My father had a great smile that could light up a room and he told great stories about how he struggled growing up.  How I wish I could hear his voice just one more time.  The problem is, no ever thought about recording his stories. There was always an excuse (we’ll do it later, we don’t have a recorder, i’m busy).  Those excuses pale in comparison to the powerful impact those stories would have had on me a few days ago.

By chance, I had a conversation with my mother a few months ago where she revealed another of my dad’s stories that he never told me. He was a young doctor working in a small “village” hospital.  He was in charge of one of the sick wards and he was tired of the lack of funding for the patients’ care.  The rooms were unsanitary and there was an inadequate inventory of medicine. He became very frustrated with the Hospital Administration’s rejection of his repeated requests for better conditions for his patients.

My mom then looked at me in the eye, and with a smile she said. . . “Do you know what your father did for his patients? He went on a Hunger Strike! That’s right, he refused to eat until his patients were given adequate care.  He almost lost his job, his medical license, basically his whole career over this incident. He was willing to sacrifice it all for what he believed in.  Well, it caused such a commotion at the hospital that the higher ups looked at the situation more closely and they upgraded the beds as well as the medicine.”

Then my mom looked at me again. . . .”Bobby, what are you willing to do for your clients? Will you be as dedicated as your father?”

I had tears in my eyes when my mom told me that story. It gave me more strength and energy than any amount of money or material assets could give me. This lesson is priceless and it is what matters most about my dad…his integrity.

The scary thing is that I may have never heard that story unless my mom and I happen to stumble on that conversation.  These stories are priceless on the one hand, but on the other hand, they are fragile and fleeting if not preserved.  One of my missions for the people I work with is to capture, preserve and protect their stories as a guardian.  These stories are what life is about. They are real and it is what brings families together during difficult times.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Capture your stories now while you can remember and enjoy them!