Leading by Example From The Grave

This is a two part Never Quit story. The first part is how a single statement by one of your guests flipped a switch for me after almost six years of fog clouding my life. I lost my Dad to cancer 5 years ago. We were extremely close and he was the quintessential man’s man in every respect balanced with being an ordained minister . I had over 20 years in law enforcement and have dealt with death, destruction, human depravity and tragedy with, luckily, little adverse effects, but his passing put me into a high speed wobble and I just couldn’t shake it…something was missing…didn’t make sense. I knew he was in a better place, wasn’t suffering and I would see him again, but there was something I just couldn’t get past…couldn’t figure out…couldn’t reconcile.

I was listening to the podcast with David Bellavia yesterday while driving home from a business trip and when he said “you’re not really man until you have to admit you don’t have a father anymore” the high speed wobble about his passing that I’d been in for the last 5 years suddenly stopped…right there, right then, cruising down the highway at 70 mph. That statement was my epiphany, my moment of enlightenment. Suddenly, it all made sense why I was having such a hard time dealing with my Dad’s death…he was my safety net, my go-to-guy for anything and everything when I couldn’t figure something out or needed advice…with him gone, I am now truly a man, THE MAN…on my own and I’m OK with that. Now that I know what that feeling or lack thereof was. Huge shout out to David Bellavia! Thanks Brother! You set me straight on something I couldn’t wrap my head around!

The second part of this story revolves around my Dad as well. As I mentioned he was the quintessential man, gentleman and warrior-poet. He was an Air Force vet, devout Christian and Shepard for everyone he met. He wasn’t preachy and wasn’t a Bible thumper. He was subtle and not only led, but ministered by example. As he was nearing the end of his life he asked one of my best friends, also a Cop who had played Taps at several law enforcement funerals, to play at his funeral…but he didn’t want Taps played…he wanted him to play Reveille instead. So at his graveside with family and friends surrounding his casket, he turned his casket into a pulpit by letting everyone know this wasn’t the end, it was just a new beginning. He Never Quit, even from his grave. I’m blessed to have had him for my Dad and would not be the man I am today without his love, friendship and guidance.

Thank you guys for allowing me to share this. Thank you for all that you have done, are doing and will do! God Bless! Take Care and Take Care of Each Other!

Author: Mike