For Dad… 4 Years Past

Four Years Past
Mick Dawson 1950-2007

  • 1,461 days.
  • 35,064 hours.
  • 2,103,840 minutes.
  • 126,230,400 seconds.

Four years has passed since my father passed.

It doesn’t sound like much time. Four years is just a fraction of a lifetime. And yet, it feels like forever.

In four years my family has done so many wonderful things. Things my Dad never got to share with us.

Laura had her third child, Kale. Theresa and Bryan got engaged. Then married. Then had Dad’s fourth grandchild, Sean. I’ve fallen in and out of love. We’ve saved our business from the brink, and have started to contemplate moving into new directions away from our original plans with Dad for the business. Life continues on.

Four years.

The world has continued in his absence as well. The Middle East is going through a major transition with Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya over come with people standing up for themselves. Dad would have followed these events with much interest. A black man was finally elected President of the U.S. I doubt he would have voted for Obama, but there would be no denying his pride in witnessing the historic occasion that was Obama’s inauguration. Natural disasters have struck all over the world. Japan would have been very hard for him to witness. His love of the Asian people, especially of Japan, and the total devastation we all witnessed there would have broke his heart. He would have also had a hard time watching the complete disaster that has come of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. He spent a great deal of his life working in nuclear power and I know he’d have had many things to say about the whole event.

So much has happened. So much has changed.

I’m not the same man I was four years ago. When Dad died I was terribly overweight, I didn’t care much about business, I didn’t care much about my future or planning for it. I lived a pretty reckless life then. In the past four years, I’ve taken more interest in my health, I’ve developed a pretty good business sense, and I’ve learned that I need to balance more of my life between work and pleasure. So often I’ve spent my life overdoing one or the other. I lived out of balance a lot back then. I’m striving to find more balance now, and I think I’m generally a happier person for it.

I am still pursuing my dreams, though I have to admit that my dreams of 2011 differ a bit from my dreams of 2007. No longer am I solely focussed on the one dream of being a filmmaker. I spent two years happily involved with a woman I truly loved. In many ways she was my exact opposite, she was meticulous, careful, a planner. Much like my father actually. And though the relationship has ended I found in being with her a better sense of myself. Of finding those more structured sides of my own being. Things my Dad always said I was lacking.

Now, I am still the dreamer. But I temper that dreaming with some sense of responsibility. To my family. To my loved ones. And most importantly to myself. In many ways my dreams have gotten bigger. I’m making films, I’m sailing the world… I’m pursuing so many things that matter to me. But I’m also taking charge of my finances. I’ve finally put my IRS and student loan problems behind me with agreeable deals in both cases. I’m no longer running from responsibilities. I don’t let them stop me from doing the amazing things I want to do in my life… but I’m not letting them get completely out of control and away from me like I have in the past. I’m finally finding balance and I think my Dad would be pleased.

Theresa and Laura have both grown incredibly as well. Laura and Adam continue to be the amazing “high school sweethearts” couple, and are doing a good job raising Mikey, Aiden and Kale. Even with some struggles with job security (isn’t that true for most of us these days) and with Kale’s unique learning needs. They are keeping it all together and I’m very proud of them, as I know that Dad would be. Theresa has married Bryan and they have the most amazing baby boy in Sean. He’s a happy child and his big ears remind me so much of Dad’s baby photos, it’s scary. In many ways he reminds me of him. He brings joy to the entire family and Theresa is an incredible mother and has done a great deal to help Laura and Adam with their kids since Dad passed. She continues to be our protector, and Dad, I’m sure, is smiling down on her still.

The girls are also starting to pursue their new dreams as well. Laura is acting again, and she’s amazing. She’s as talented as we have always believed her to be, and I think she’s finally mature enough now to believe it herself. Theresa has successfully transitioned into directing as well. Her first effort was a wonderful horror film that she directed with such ease and confidence, you’d have never guessed she’d never directed before. He’d be so incredibly proud of them.

Dad always told us that some day he’d be gone and we would have to carry on without him. That day came much sooner than any of us would have liked. But his lessons, his love and his spirit continues to guide us to this day.

For 1,461 days I have not gone one single day without thinking of the man. I still weigh most of my decisions against my thoughts of how he would have reacted. His opinions still carry weight with me and they likely always will. But I try to take solace in knowing that my relationship with him was such that even though he is gone he is still always with me. He’s a part of me. Deep down my heart and my mind continue to hear his words. I continue to live my life in the warmth of his love and approval, even though I no longer can enjoy hearing the words from him or feeling his embrace.

I pursue my dreams as my father taught me to. To never give up. To hold my head high in failure and to stay humble in success. I love openly. My family is my soul. My friends are my family. And though I still struggle to find that one love to share more of my life with I will continue to hold hope that she’s there for me, somewhere. I know that I will make her happy when we finally connect. I know that because my father taught me how to be a man. And if I can be just a tenth of the man my father was then I know that I too will be a good man.

I miss you Dad. Everyday. I hope and I pray that you are out there discovering the wonders of this Universe and beyond, and I believe that someday I’ll hear you tell me how proud I continued to make you. Until then, please check in on me from time to time. I think I’m still full of surprises, but I think I’m getting better all the time.

All my love to my Dad on the 4th anniversary of his passing.

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