April 26, 1984 started out as any other day. I was at work with my job for the State of Minnesota. But, unbeknownst to me.......
In my parent's house in my hometown in Michigan, things started out pretty much as usual. My mother was going shopping with her sister later in the morning so she had spent the early morning hours putting her hair in curlers. She and my Dad spent time over breakfast and coffee before he had to head out to work, discussing the day ahead and once again pondering whether or not they should move to a warmer climate when he retired in October. It was only six months away.
With their normal kiss goodbye, which they did everytime they parted, he was off to work. Thirty minutes later her world was turned upside down.
The call came from the hospital emergency room. She needed to get there and get there quick. Something had happened to my father but they would not say what.
What they would not tell her over the phone was that my father was dead. He had suffered a major heart attack within 20 minutes of arriving at work and fell to the ground. Dead before he landed.
What I learned from this sudden, tragic, unexpected event was this: Life is short and you never know when it is your turn and what is going to happen tomorrow. Or even in the next 30 minutes.
My whole life I had been fascinated with horses and longed to own one. But, at 34 years old, I had thought I was too old to go down that path. My Dad taught me otherwise. Within a year I owned my first horse and never looked back. Happy that I had learned one more valuable lesson from my Dad.