Happy Birthday Dad…I Miss You!

Normally on my Dad’s birthday I’d give him a call, say happy birthday and see what he was up to for the day.

This is the first year I won’t be able to do that because a little over two weeks ago I had to say good-bye to him when he passed away.

Today would have been his 67th birthday.

I’m sure wherever he is, he’s celebrating and doing so in grand style, playing golf courses so brilliant it puts all of those on earth to shame.

As a way of celebrating his life I thought I’d share a few memories that I included in his eulogy as well as some photos.

Tonight I shall celebrate with a meal he’d enjoy (Prime Rib, Asparagus and White Rice – for dessert a slice of cherry pie with vanilla ice cream) and watch the movie that wound up setting the stage for a major portion of who I am…Star Wars – Episode IV – A New Hope. He and I saw a lot of movies together, but it’s that one that always meant the most.

So with that I’ll say “Happy Birthday Dad! I miss you, we all miss you so much and hope you’re getting to spend some good time with your old pet dinosaur. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

I love you Dad, wherever you are up there…

I remember his old red 2-door Toyota Corolla and the specialness of sitting up front with him. Anytime I drove with him, even into my teens he’d throw his arm across my chest whenever he had to stop suddenly.

I remember gaining my love of aviation when my Dad would take me to Flying Tigers. I’d get to see all the big planes and the inside of the flight simulators. Most of all I remember everyone calling my Dad chief.

I remember him taking me to the movies and introducing me to what would become a passion of mine later on…STAR WARS. Thanks to my Dad I can say that I was one of the few who actually saw it in the movie theaters.

According to my father he would buy a TV Guide and it would disappear. He’d buy another one and it would disappear. So TV Guides were mysteriously disappearing and he had no idea where they went. It was only later when they were checking out the piano did they find out that I had been taking the TV Guides and stashing them inside the piano.

Or there’s the times I apparently had an affinity for cat food and he and my mom would have to keep me out of it.

He and my step-mom Cathy drove all the way from Arizona to LA to come see me in a play I was in. He was there with a big smile and a loving hug.

I am going to miss his e-mails

I am going to miss his phone calls and hearing his voice

I am going to miss his text messages.

I am going to miss his comments on Facebook.

I am going to miss his big hugs.

I am going to miss talking with him about movies.

I am going to miss watching Star Wars with him

Dad, wherever you are…I love you, I will miss you and am so lucky to have had you for my father. Don’t be a stranger okay?

Communication…It’s Not Overrated

3 weeks ago my Dad went into the hospital for a simple out-patient procedure to put a stent in one of his arteries.

As the doctors went in they found out that things were a little more intense than they had thought. It turns out there were 2 other arteries that were blocked. One at 89% and one at 98%.

This simple outpatient procedure turned into a triple bypass.

While overall I think the doctors and nurses were incredibly talented and wonderful the one thing that was incredibly frustrating for me and my family was the communication or lack thereof.

There either wasn’t enough, or it wasn’t correct, or the message radically changed multiple times over the course of a day.

I know many people say that you have to push for information in a hospital, but in that scenario we were all kind of in a mini state of shock, not knowing what to expect or what to do.

So what if…

  • We didn’t have to push for information from those that we deal with?
  • Communication flowed freely so people were kept in the loop on a reasonable basis?
  • We made a little more effort to just keep others up-to-date?

I think we’d have a lot less stressed folks during already tense situations. They’d feel more in control of their world, and their life. It’s amazing how even if someone has absolutely no control over a situation, knowing what’s going on can make them feel in control. Not knowing what is really going on can scare the crap out of people. The fear of the unknown or the uncertain can even be downright horrible and painful.

Flickr: stuartpilbrow

My mind now wanders to my REALTOR® friends and what they need to communicate.

When people are buying or selling a home it’s perhaps THE LARGEST financial transaction that someone will go through.
Even though it’s a financial transaction it’s fraught with emotions that can go from high to low in the course of minutes.

Home buyers and sellers want to know what’s going on. They need to be kept informed on everything that is happening to maintain some sense of sanity. They want their agent to get back to them in a timely manner.

Their satisfaction with the agent in a transaction can often be largely based on the amount of communication they did or did not get.

Place yourself in the shoes of the buyers and sellers who really don’t understand how the transaction really works. Take off your REALTOR® cap and be the buyer….na na na na na na….be the seller…na na na na na na.

Communication doesn’t have to start with the listing agreement either. Start your communication by having a blog and teaching your readers about the transaction, and what they need to know. Teach them about the communities you sell homes in so they know why they should buy a home there. Teach them some common things to look out for in a home inspection.

Keep the communication channels open and prepare them for their lifestyle transplant by e-mail, phone and even social networking.

If it’s between the hours of 8am-7pm respond within an hour or less to e-mails and phone calls. Even if you don’t have any new information, give them a call to let them know you’re working on it and give them a time that you’ll get back to them. If there is no new news, contact them to say there’s no update and set a new time to get back to them.

Flickr: rbrwr

Be realistic about the time you give them. Don’t underestimate how long it may take.

In my many years in I.T. I would often tell people things would be back up or completed later than I really thought it would. When I finished earlier it made them feel really good about me, my tech skills and my services. In those scenarios where I had unexpected issues, it gave me some extra wiggle room and still allowed me to deliver on time.

Communication in the end isn’t that hard to do and you never know, the simple update you give someone could do a world of good.

It certainly would have made a very scary situation, a lot less scary, not just for us but for my Dad. Having all the right info on a timely basis could have helped my Dad get out sooner, because instead of worrying he could focus on healing.

My Dad’s heart is doing wonderful while his lungs are taking some time to come back after a lifetime of smoking. Overall though he’s good, and he finally got to go home on Friday afternoon. He can now rest and relax as he watches the Golf Channel. Before we know it he’ll be back at full strength and back out on the fairway.