Nothing On This Plane is Permanent

Many of you who know me well, know that the past 3 weeks have been the most challenging of my life. Our daddy passed away suddenly and tragically due to a senseless accident which led to a chain of events over the next two weeks leading to his passing last week. Untimely. Sudden. Unexpected and tragic. We were blessed to have this incredible man in our lives for the time we did….and every single person who knew him would agree.

As we grapple with the ‘new normal’ and realizing that my handsome, brilliant, egoless, and selfless daddy will not ever come walking through the door again, there are definite lessons to learn. Though this blog is not intended to pay homage to him (this will come later perhaps in the form of a book); I hope this will offer a few universal truths of which we have been reminded due to this horrific experience, from which we may all benefit.

  1. Nothing on this earthly plane is permanent. What is eternal is the love we share and experience. My family believes in Divine Providence and a guiding hand in every aspect of life. My father’s life taught this in spades. We believe love is the glue which binds us all eternally. As I wrote about in my first book….I believe we are here to teach one another, to learn from one another and to serve….and ALL this is bound together by LOVE. That is eternal. Daddy’s life and legacy is anchored by this love. 
  2. There is a time for everything. One of our family’s favorite passages is: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens……” … much as we did not want Daddy to leave the earthly plane….there is a Divine hand at work and we trust in this Faith. And yes, this goes for every single aspect of our lives. This is not to say we do not own our lives….as we absolutely own our choices which manifest and create our lives. My daddy believed this and set the ultimate example through the course of his life. To make it real and applicable to those of you reading this…..If you are ever ‘unhappy’ with where you find yourself….he would suggest you have had come to a fork in the road. We either need to change our attitude (our response to our conditions) OR we change the conditions we can change. Daddy believed we had control over three things and three things only: Our ATTITUDE, our BEHAVIORS, and our CHOICES (our ABC’s). Thus, when we meet adversity, hardship, challenges, and in this case: the unexpected departure of those most dear….we can only control our RESPONSE to those conditions. Hard. Hard. Hard. Yet as mom. Gretchen, and I keep reminding ourselves: Daddy would expect nothing less from ‘his girls’.
  3. The present moment is all we have. Yes, as I wrote about in my first book, this means embracing each and every minute and experiencing its full potency. We are guaranteed nothing more. How grateful I am to have had the time I had with my entire family for 55 years. We did indeed relish and LIVE each and every moment. We are grateful for our close, fun-filled, laughter-loaded, wisdom-rich relationships as a unified family of four. And, as I wrote in the last chapter of my 2nd book, I believe as long as we are alive, we have purpose. In fact, here is an excerpt from that chapter, which is quite poignant given the events of the last two weeks:

“Years ago, while I was recovering from surgery, I remember lamenting to my father about wanting to find my purpose in life and wondering if I even had a purpose. My father’s response in a very matter of fact tone was, ‘You have one, otherwise you would be dead.’”

As long as we are alive we have a reason for being here. Each of us has a destiny to fulfill and ‘a seat to take’. We have a reason for being here….as long as we have breath. And when we are ‘called home’, our job and our lessons in ‘earth school’ are completed. Yet, while we are here we must reach, stretch, give, serve, listen, teach, and love. How we give to, serve and LOVE one another is the legacy we leave.

I want to close this article with the other scripture reading we offered at daddy’s celebration of life last week. It is one I have referenced (paraphrased) for years in my keynote addresses and my books relative to a “Peace that passes all understanding”….and it is one, which I hope will grace your life and your perspective over the coming months and years.

Philippians 4: 4-9: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to those of you who traveled far and wide to come to daddy’s services, we were humbled beyond words by the number of souls daddy obviously touched in his life. And for those of you who have been kind, supportive, and empathetic to my family – thank you so very much. This is life….and what I know for sure is these challenges are eased by Faith in a Divine Hand and the support of friends.




21 responses to “Nothing On This Plane is Permanent

  1. Kristen– you are already living your sweet daddy’s legacy with your gift of inspirational words. Thanks for setting a great platform for us on this first day of Lent. So, so sorry for your loss.

  2. Your Dad raised a wonderful woman. I’m sorry for your loss and celebrate his victory in Christ. You and your family will be in my prayers. XOX

  3. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My own dad passed away when I was only 26. You’ll go through tough times, but will survive and you’ll remember the things he taught you and he’ll remain by your side if only in your mind.

  4. What a beautiful and appropriate message to hear this morning. I am so sorry for your loss. I am motivated to be the kind of parent that inspires words like these from my children someday. Thank you for sharing yourself as you always do.

  5. Kristin, you and your family have been in my thoughts so frequently he/weeks. I love the writing is one of the ways in which you share your wisdom and your pain. Love you so much and sending healing energy to you and your family.

  6. A beautiful tribute to a loving father. Your life embodies the values of loving kindness and compassion to all. My deep sympathy for your loss.

  7. “Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pitchers of silver.” Thanks, Kristen, for sharing this.

  8. “Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pitchers of silver.” Thanks, Kristen, for sharing this.

  9. Beautiful and thoughtful, just as you are, my lovely friend! You will hear his words and experience his presence many many times for the rest of your earthly life … and that will guide you well. Love you!

  10. Kristin, your gift of writing has made it possible for you to convey your grief, your thoughts and words of wisdom so that we understand your life, past, present and future. Joe was my mind’s epitome of love of family, integrity, leadership, loyalty and just plain fun. The closeness of your family will carry you through to the future and God will bless and care for you in the days ahead. Love, John

  11. Beautiful words filled with pain, loss and courage. As always, you lead with wisdom and compassion. An eloquent tribute to your Dad and his legacy. My prayers are with you.

  12. So sorry to hear of your loss. Armando and I send our love and condolences. As others have said, your father is proud of you and you are blessed to have had him in your life all these years.

  13. Kristin, your beautiful writing bought me to tears through this testament to love and life. You’ve shared with us the many gifts you’ve received from your earthly and heavenly Fathers through your words and your life. Thank you.

  14. Kristin, I loved (and smiled at) the wonderful nugget of wisdom, “You do have a purpose otherwise you would be dead”. How succinct is that. Lessons from your father, TERRIFIC. Love to you Gretchen and your mother. Lyle

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