Everyday Legend - What Losing My Father Taught Me

Dad, Big Bro (left), and I (middle)

by Sukh Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Recently we featured a very touching story about how Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is dealing with the tragic loss of her husband.

One of our Legends Report members, Alejandro Solorio, was so moved by the story that he gave us permission to share his own experience of how he chose to change his life after his father passed away...[emaillocker ]

"What hit close to home, reading the Sheryl Sandberg piece, was the fact that two years ago I lost my father, and it hurts still today. Though, like Sheryl, I did not sit back and let the void fill me. I visited my father's grave as much as I could and still do as much as I can and have grown to appreciate the man for what he accomplished in his life. At first, I wanted to talk about it, but didn't know how. Or to whom. It was one of those things, just like Sheryl, "What do I say?". Finally, after some time I was able to talk about death; to accept it as a natural occurrence; and, to not be sad but be happy for the legacy my father left behind: a loving wife, mature and wise kids, and an amazing breath of fresh air in his grandchildren. It was something I never thought I could talk about in everyday conversation.

I felt lost at times, but I knew he was around and he would help and he would guide me just like how he had been all his life. The biggest goal in my life has been to get healthy and I owe it to my father that I have come so far in me becoming healthy. I started before his death, but kicked it up a notch afterwards. I would eat better, I would be more conscious as to what I put into my body and I would exercise and workout way more than ever in my life. I challenged myself to sign up for a yoga studio. I had done it before, just gone once a month or even once every other month.

This challenge was to stick to my guns and be committed for 30 days. I did it. I went to yoga day or night, when I could and I would give it my all. If someone in class did a headstand, I would try it – albeit not successfully; but, I would not sit there and say "I cannot do this, I will rest". I took it as another obstacle, and I am proud to say that a year later I can easily do a headstand without the support of a spotter or a wall to catch my fall. It was not because of the 30 days, but because of consistent practice. During those 30 days, I forced myself to make yoga my #1 priority, and it still is. I have an app for it on my phone, I have an app for it on my Playstation and my roommate even gave me a DVD for it. I make it accessible to myself whenever and wherever so that it is a constant reminder. It is something that I now share with others.

My family members usually get up and do a quick 15 minute session with me – and the little ones love it. It's their smile and my family's (or friend's) smile and laughter during each session that makes me happy for what I have done.

I was in love with the feeling of helping others, and it was all thanks to my dad. It's sad to think that his death kick-started a breath of fresh air; but, it is right to say it because I honestly do not know if I would have this level of dedication and commitment had it not been for his absence. He was a strong, caring, hard-working man; and, I like to think that I carry with me his legacy and that I am paying it forward just like he did many years before by caring for the ones he loved and being there for them."

This is a very touching story and I know Alejandro works hard every day to develop himself, his discipline and he is enjoying the journey. The Legends Report is all about helping people to thrive and reach their potential. Alejandro would be the first to tell you that he has his moments, but he always makes the effort. I value being able to support him to find even more inspiration and drive to succeed. - Sukh Singh

You can read the Sheryl Sandberg article here...

Feel free to share your thoughts on Alejandro's story in the comments below...

Featured Image courtesy of  Tom @ Flickr,