Let me tell you about my dad. He is amazing, vibrant and full of life. I could not be more fortunate or prouder to have the dad that I do. I am grateful for the love and dedication he has shown to me my whole life. He is one of those dads that never gives you the answer to something, but rather helps you find the answer within yourself. He is kind and compassionate, brilliant when it comes to all-things-business, a risk-taker and adventurer, phenomenal at finances, a lover of good movies, a gardener with a green thumb, a wine expert, an esteemed member of his community and so much more.
He and my mom were both married before they had me, and I am honored to be part of a blended family. I love my mom more than words can express – she was my first friend and my best friend. I miss her every day. She was not, however, my dad’s soulmate. I know that may seem strange to hear coming from their daughter; however, it’s true. My mom was not my dad’s soulmate. Let me explain.
My dad is a very accomplished business executive and has always been a goal-oriented individual and a lover of personal development. He is ambitious and has been spending his retirement working on projects that help humanity; truly using his God-given talents and business acumen to help others. “We are all connected,” is a phrase I love that he says frequently when we speak. I love that about him.
My mom wrote poetry, collected and sold jewelry and antiques and possessed so much wisdom and grace. She was a phenomenal friend to everyone she met and was the most generous and loving person I have ever known. She just wasn’t my dad’s soulmate. They were different.
My dad met his soulmate, Michelle, at The Braille Institute. She was the Director of Volunteer Services; and having already retired from his corporate career, my dad was a volunteer at the institute, teaching a class on current events. When I met Michelle for the first time, I was struck not only by her beauty, but also by her warmth and strength of character. Her compassion, brilliance, selfless desire to help others, and love for life and living it to the full was a perfect match to my dad’s. She was in a continual state of self-improvement, too, just like my dad. They are both lifelong learners.
Through the years I have watched them problem solve together, take walks on the beach together, share meals and wonderful conversation and give back both of their time and money. A few years ago, I called my dad to say, “Hello,” as he lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast; and he was telling me about a Tai Chi class they were both taking. He had just returned from the class. Was I surprised? Not even for a second. In fact, I wanted to know more about their class.
Michelle and my dad go together like cookies and milk or peanut butter and jelly. They are each other’s confidant, helper, best friend and the love of each other’s life. You know, those couples that you see that are passionately and intimately engaged in conversation together, hanging onto every word of each other’s stories? That’s them. The ones who are mutually respectful and loving and kind and very, very grateful each day for one another. They are growing together as each day passes and more and more in love as the days and years pass by. They also both have wonderful senses of humor.
My dad who is turning 80 next February and his fiancé, Michelle, who will be 70 at the time of the event, are tying the knot together in April 2018 at a lovely chapel in California. They will be surrounded by their children and grandchildren who love them dearly and are grateful for the example they are to us of living life to its fullest extent and being brave and courageous.
Whatever your age, it’s never too late to marry your soulmate.
Deirdre is a consultant in the areas of health and wellness, customer experience, strategy, and sales execution. Her passion is to help others live healthier lives through education and awareness. She and her husband live in Charleston, SC, and love spending time outdoors and spending time with family and friends.