A Fathers Pride
by Bob Olson
When I lost my father in 1997 to lung cancer, I was blessed
with a most unexpected gift. It was a gift that I had not known I wanted, but when I
received it, I immediately realized how important it was to me. It is a simple gift that
any father can give to his son at any time in his life. I hope that any father who reads
this story will be inspired to keep giving this gift as often as possible.
It was the end of a long cold winter. Forty years of
non-filtered cigarettes were finally taking their toll on my fathers defeated body.
He had been in and out of the hospital for years due to poor healthincluding having
half a lung removed one year, and a quadruple bypass anotherbut during the last few
months he spent more time in the hospital than out. Although it was a difficult
experience, Im thankful for the time we had to prepare for his passing. We were able
to say, "Goodbye," say "I love you," and best of all for me, my father
told me he was proud of me. I believe my life has been easier due to those simple words of
During the last few months of my fathers life, I tried
to remain strong for my mother, my sister and my wife (who had known my father since she
was twelve years old). I almost became emotionally detached, wanting to be the pillar upon
which my family could lean and a shoulder of strength to cry on. But when my father and I
found ourselves alone one day, him lying in the hospital bed with me sitting by his side,
I lost my strength when he held my hand and told me how proud I had made him in his life.
Like the last drop of water that broke the dam, a flood of tears overcame my macho facade
Had I known how much I needed that affirmation, perhaps I
would have been better prepared. Instead I was ambushed, barely knowing what hit me. It
was evident that every cell in my body craved those wordsespecially just before I
lost him forever. Now the memory of his voiceas he expressed his pride in
mewill forever echo in my mind. I could not have asked for a more encouraging and
self-assuring last few words from him. It was truly a gift.
I never took the time to contemplate the significance of that
moment until a year later, after I spoke to a friend on the phone. He informed me that his
father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and had only a few months to live.
Interestingly, after he delivered this sad news, he almost enthusiastically recited a
conversation he had with his Dad that afternoon. His father told him for the first time in
his life that he was proud of him. Since my friend had left home in his teens due to his
fathers disapproval of his lifestyle, these were words that he desperately needed to
His father expressed how he admired his sons courage to
walk out that door and never look back. He admired that he was the only child of four who
had been self-reliant and had never asked for his help. His father wrapped his arm around
his shoulder and showered him with approvallong overdue approval. I am without doubt
that this precious exchange between my friend and his father was more valuable than years
of future therapy could ever have been.
There are very few words that can regress a grown man into a
little boy within seconds. Now I know that hearing your father say "Im proud of
you" holds that powerespecially if its one his last few words. For most
men, there was at least one time in our lives when we wanted to be just like Dad. Even if
that were at a very young age, that part of us is still in there. And the need to please
our fathers, to make them proud of us, almost seems genetic.
Oh, Im sure its just an ego thing. We want to win
the approval of our first and oldest teachersour parents. We say "Gaga" as
an infant, and our parents smile and laugh. Later, "Gaga" no longer impresses
them, but "Mama" and "Dada" get a new positive response. So we go with
it because it feels good to please them. We are rewarded for making them happy.
Soon, we stand up, and once again we have clapping and joy.
Before you know it were walking, running, then riding a bicycle, and eventually
driving a car. As we grow older, it becomes more difficult to please them. Weve run
out of new stunts that will attract their attention. The old accomplishments no longer win
a standing ovationtheyve become expected. But we continue to desire their
approval. It doesnt just go away. This desire to please our parents is more than
just how we learn, it feeds our self-esteem and self-confidence. Our parents
approval has become a measuring stick for our self-worth.
Eventually, after high school and perhaps years of college,
and especially after we have established our careers, this measuring stick rarely has an
opportunity to be tested. Our parents may tell us they love us, but they have very few
events for which to applaud us. Yet our need to make them proudand to receive this
acknowledgmentstill exists. It may be concealed deep within us, but we still crave
their displays of approval.
For years, I had no idea how much I craved those words of
approval from my father. This inner desire simply lay dormant as a void within my soul.
But that precious day, as I literally sat on his death bed, it was like flicking an
internal switch. When he said, "Bob, I am so proud of you," his words triggered
emotions I had no idea still existed. My mature defensesthat wall of protection I
had built around me to act like a manexploded into disintegration. And all that was
left was this little boy sitting next to his fatherbeaming with self-assurance that
he was worthy and loved unconditionally.
I hope this simple reminder will influence parents of both
sexes to remember a need that we all know is there, but we often forget about in our busy
hectic lives. I certainly feel blessed to have had a father who did not forget.
articles by Bob Olson, visit www.ofspirit.com/bobolson.htm
||A former skeptic &
private investigator, Bob Olson has been an Afterlife
Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher since 1999. In 1997, Bob Olson’s father died of lung cancer at the age of 64. Bob was just 35. The event ignited spiritual questions for Bob that he’d never before considered. Is there life after death? If so, what evidence exists to prove it? And, if one could prove the existence of an afterlife, was it also possible to know if our deceased loved ones exist in this afterlife, if they are okay, and if they are watching over us? Bob decided to use his skills as a private investigator to obtain answers, and this was the catalyst for Bob’s investigation into the afterlife.
In his search for evidence of the afterlife, Bob has tested
hundreds of psychics, mediums & other afterlife-related
practitioners. Bob is the host of AFTERLIFE
TV, founder of BEST
PSYCHIC DIRECTORY and BEST
PSYCHIC MEDIUMS, and offers his PSYCHIC
MEDIUM WORKSHOP to help psychics and mediums improve their
abilities and business. Visit Bob on his FACEBOOK page & on TWITTER.
And don't miss Bob's new book titled ANSWERS
ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE.