After losing both of my parents before the age of 27 and hitting every ledge on my way to rock bottom, I feel I have a story to tell.
On August 16th 2007, I wasn't prepared to lose my mom. She wasn't battling cancer or fighting to overcome a disease. In fact, to my knowledge, she was completely healthy. However, at 44, her time here was over after suffering a brain aneurism while she was at work. At the time of the accident, I was playing in my first soccer pre-season game as a collegiate athlete. My mom was my biggest fan. I don't recall her ever missing a game. Until that day. That day, my world changed.
Though, playing the worst game of my life didn't compare to what I was about to face next. I remember every single detail about that day, from the last words I spoke to my mom, to the dreaded "there's nothing more we can do" conversation with the doctors, to even noticing the single red rose that bloomed in our garden the day she passed. I won't go into more depth, but, I will say that the most vivid memory I have of that day is holding my mom's hand, leaning over her, while she laid lifeless in that hospital bed, begging her to hear me. To squeeze my hand. Wishing for a miracle that never came.
Losing my mom at the age of 18 a week before starting my freshman year of college was, and still is the hardest thing I've ever had to cope with. Not to take away from the pain of losing my dad 8 years later, but I guess you could say that I was "more" prepared for him to pass. The doctors' filled our ears with loads of medical jargon... call it what you will but my dad died of a broken heart. Plain and simple.
My brother and I were faced with a decision - keep our dad alive by a ventilator, or, let him go. Even though it seems like this would be a difficult decision, it wasn't. Setting our feelings aside, we knew that our dad wouldn't want to live that way. However, unlike when we "pulled the plug" on my mom, I opted to stay in the room with my dad. On December 27th, 2015, I watched my dad take one last, gasp for air and watched the heartbeat through his neck fade. I'll never forget that moment.
That day I realized that life is too short to live with regret and I promised myself I would start living. That I would follow my bliss. This business is a new adventure. It's a healing process. It's a chance to make a difference in the world and a chance to connect with people who are suffering.
Let's re-design expression.