In honor of Father’s Day, this post is a little more personal than others I have written. I won’t be touting my favorite lip care product or giving advice on business, entrepreneurship, or music. Instead, I am going to take a few moments to honor my father in a way I never have before. Only trouble is he won’t be able to read this unless heaven has an internet connection. But something tells me it does, so I guess it’s all good.
You see, I have been without a father since I was 12. Roger Gosling was killed in a bus accident while on a business trip in a faraway land. He left behind a beautiful 23 year marriage to the only woman he ever loved and five children between the ages of 12 and 21. So, you can understand why Father’s Day has always been one of those holidays I don’t get too excited about. Now, I happen to believe our emotions are largely of our own choosing. So this year, I have chosen to be more upbeat about Father’s Day and celebrate the great man that my father was instead of wallow in the fact that I cannot tell him personally what a great inspiration he continues to be. Besides, I am the father of a fairly amazing 13 year old son, so there is much to be grateful for on this day.
Why have I chosen this particular year to do this? Well, my incredible mother just downsized into a smaller a condominium and, as you can imagine, a lot of stuff was unearthed during the moving process. We found lots of mementos that my mom is ready to part with but those same items are helping my wife (who also lost her father at a tragically young age) and me create a better picture of who he was. My age 12 memories are of a funny, always smiling, loving, hardworking man who loved life. Speaking of pictures, the one you see here is a painting he did as a teenager. One of his many talents included art. He also loved to sing and had a beautiful voice.
Even if your relationship with your dad isn’t what you might want it to be, remember this – none of us are here without them, so you might just take a moment to say “Thanks Dad, for putting me here.” For me, the artifacts in my mom’s closets reminded me that, as a young man, he struggled and failed at many things before he found a career path that allowed him to fill in the blanks of purpose and self-confidence so spectacularly. A life beautifully lived, but only for 47 years. The lesson for me, as I strive to reinvent myself once again, is to stay determined and, at the same time, savor every moment along the way as he did. So here’s to Roger Elton Gosling, a man who had a cool middle name long before a certain mega pop star from England came along. If he was here today, I would simply say, “Dad – you rock!”
(With my brother Jim at Lake Michigan – Summer 1972)