As Rick Gabrielly turns 53, the age his father was when he unexpectedly passed, he remembers his father and promises to use the gifts his father gave him to live every day fully.
For me, this simple number has held the most power inside it for thirty-four years.
We each have symbols and numbers that remind us of something or a time in our lives of great triumph or great despair.
On August 6th, 1981, my favorite person left the field to head to the big dugout in the sky. My father (and my super coach) Vince, passed at the young age of 53 to move on to his new assignment. I was only nineteen and wasn’t sure what my life would be like without him.
Fear has had a good run trying to travel with me since that day so many years ago. In fact, I can tell you that it slowed me down and tried to stop me from doing some incredible things. I spent many nights scared that I too would die unexpectedly like my father.
Last night, on the eve of this birthday, I had several dreams of me riding on the top of a speeding truck, friends and family below, supporting me, as I yelled celebratory, liberating screams of joy and excitement for this passage to a place I feared for so long.
I too was crossing over today. Only my assignment is to realize my higher purpose here with you. To assist in the journey with all of you. The journey to more vibrant, loving communication. The journey to self-love and truth.
My road leads to connection.
This connection is my way of saying no to fear and yes to leadership. And I’m fully accepting my assignment without fear.
There have been so many moments that I wanted to share with him, even today would be different if he was here with me in his physical form. We would share a smile, a joke, most likely some incredible story about his exploits or feats of strength or endurance.
He once walked 364 miles to school in six feet of snow after sanding an entire fire truck.
All before 6:00am.
In preparation for this day and this milestone year in my own journey, I’ve consulted with him many times. “What should I do differently Dad, so I don’t die too early?” “What would you do if you knew this might be your last day on earth?”
So I’ll ask you these same questions. Perhaps my experience has helped create the Rick you see before you today. Will my message on this special birthday inspire you to uncover the gifts in Vince’s early departure?
I know I’m going to dig a little deeper to give gratitude and love to my family and friends today and over the next 364 days.
And I’m sure he would tell me to keep doing exactly what I’m doing, because it’s real and it’s all me. And that is all any of us need to do. In fact, it would be awesome to go be even more of yourself.
Perhaps the greatest gift I got as a child was this one talk my Dad had with me during one of our routine conversations. Yes, we did have them every day. He said, “Son, you can do anything you want in life. You’re a Gabrielly. And you have the gift of communication. You are gonna change a lot of lives with your words. You can be whatever you want.”
So today, just like every other day, I’m going out there to change lives. Starting with my own, then moving on to yours.
If you’ve ever had someone like my father in your life, you are never alone.
Thanks for my gifts Dad (Coach.)
I promise to use them even more starting today.
See you later, I’m going to play big now.
This article originally appeared on The Marriage Boss.
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Photo courtesy of author.