by Bill Gough, Insurance Hall of Fame Agent
Today is the one-day all of us Dads get to call our own. … an “official holiday” recognized by our big government.
As a very young spike, about kindergarten age, I once asked, “Daddy, when is kids day?” At the time it seemed reasonable to me, especially since momma had “her day” the prior month.
His response was, "Me and your mother have only 1 day each year, and the other 363 days are kids days." Even at that age, I recognized his playful sarcastic tone and knew that was not the answer I wanted to hear. I thought my brother Jim, my twin sisters Kim and Karen, and me had been slighted.
As a Dad myself for more than thirty years, I have come to have a real appreciation for his comments almost five decades ago. It’s one of those many phrases we get from our parents that we never forget. They’re special, and over the years I have come to treasure them.
I was blessed to have two incredible loving parents, my first and best mentors, teachers, advisors, and heroes. This was my experience. I can only hope that you were blessed with a similar one.
I received two huge teachings from my dad, Bill Gough, Sr. One was when I gained a big new responsibility as a 23 year old father, when my son Bill Gough, III was born September 20, 1983. Then the advice and support he gave me when we lost Lil’ Bill when he was just 23 on New Year’s Day 2007 when he tragically drowned and left this world. Ironic that at 23, I was entering into a major phase of my life here as a new dad, and Lil' Bill’s life here on earth was ending.
We lost my father on 4/14/2012. It was in the middle of a BGI Titanium Mastermind meeting. I was hosting with about twenty Agency Owners and several of their trusted team members at a 2-day mastermind meeting here in my hometown, Florence, AL.
About noon on the second day of the Mastermind meeting, I got a tap on my shoulder from my wife Vanessa. She had driven to our private meeting location and was wearing sunglasses to cover her swollen red eyes, asking me to come into hall to tell me the shocking and gut-wrenching news.
Early after we lost Lil’ Bill I would get depressed around his birthday and holidays. The world and people in it taught me this. Thank God, someone showed up one day in a book I was reading that preparing to be miserable is not smart. In fact, it is downright dumb, and prevents all the great memories while promoting doom and gloom. Some people do this for days, weeks, or even months in advance of these “special” dates. I was guilty of this same behavior. No more of this behavior for me, and I was much better prepared when my father passed on.
Today, we celebrate these special days. I’m not saying that I’m not sad. Sure I’m sad, I just choose to quickly move out of that mindset, because I know that my lost loved ones would not want me to feel that way.