Last thing I learned from Dad

Dad-Smiling
My Dad and that Colgate Smile

That’s a picture of my Dad.

He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly four years ago today.

I was 42 years old at the time, and to put it plainly, I had been remarkably blessed in terms of family. My mother and father were still happily married to each other and loved each other. We only moved once in my childhood, and it was to a fantastic neighborhood. My brother and I grew up surrounded by relatives and friends with financial and emotional security. These can only be described as blessings.

I myself was happily married with six children. Moreover, both my husband and I both worked from home, so we were in a position to be able to spend months at a time either with my parents at their home, or vacationing with them, what have you. Things were good. The kids all really got to know and make connections with their grandparents.

I had a conversation with my Dad a few months before he passed away. I asked him, point blank if he ever had any fears of dying, particularly since he was getting up in years and was closer to it than ever before. His reply was immediate, and completely sincere.

“No, not at all. Why should I be afraid? I’ve had my three-score and ten…when you and Jason were little, I figured it wasn’t a good time to die because the kids needed me. But now there’s the grand kids, and they kind of need me too… (laughs) I guess it’s never really a good time to die – but I’m ready to go whenever the Lord calls me.”

He meant that. But that’s not the most important of the last things I learned from my father. To say that I was devastated by his death is something of an understatement. I’m a reasonably grounded, solid kind of person. And although in retrospect I can say that my Dad and I were close, I didn’t think of it as anything particularly noteworthy during his lifetime. Our relationship was just a part of my reality…and when he died, the rug was pulled out from under me.

For the first time in my life, I had to worry about my mother. (Who incidentally is fine.) I suddenly knew what it was like not to have a Dad. And frankly, being fatherless is the pits. Simple things, like if I needed wood hauled, or a bug killed, or a critter trapped, and my husband was moving too slowly on it, I could always call my Dad…but now I can’t.

I didn’t speak at his funeral. I couldn’t. I regret that, but realistically, I didn’t have it in me to say a word then. I could only grieve and be shell-shocked. My little brother who is 10 years my junior handled everything, while I fell completely apart. It was the first time I realized what a remarkable man my baby brother has become. He’s strong, dependable, organized, decisive and comforting. I thanked God for him.

When we went to see Dad in repose at the funeral parlor for the first time, I was barely keeping it together. For the sake of my children, who were there with us, I had to maintain some semblance of dignity. It just wouldn’t do to act like a great, big, old Madea mess. So I put on as brave a face as I could, leaned heavily on Dan, and I went in.

It looked just like he was sleeping. But that wasn’t the remarkable thing. Something was unmistakeably missing. The obvious answer is “Yeah, his life.” But that’s not it…every time I had ever been in geographic proximity to my father, there had been a little “leap” or “tug” or acknowledgement between us. Something in me would automatically greet that same something in him. Sort of like an invisible, silent “hey.” Our souls had been connected somehow. And I NEVER noticed it until I experienced the lack of it. Truly.

I stared at him, wondering about the implication of the missing…thing. My Dad was not in that body. I knew it with every fiber of my being. Later I learned that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be moved or transformed. My father’s soul and body had parted. And that meant that he most certainly had a soul, because I could feel it plain as day when it was someplace else. Which also meant I too must have a soul, because it could communicate with my father’s when he was alive.

My faith became a certainty that day. I was already a believer before he died. So was he. But after he died, it wasn’t just a belief or a hope, it was a fact. There’s something more to people than an mild electromagnetic charge, flesh and bones. More than the ability to breathe and communicate. There is something else in a person. I know it because of what I learned when my father died.

Incidentally, I should add that since then, I’m far more aware of these soul-to-soul connections. I have them strongest with my husband, children, my mom and my relatives. If you pay attention, you’ll realize that you have them too.

Family is powerful.
Love is eternal.
God is merciful.
There is a such thing as heaven.

The last thing I learned was this. I was saying the Lord’s prayer and I realized something about the character of God that had previously eluded me. You see, I know my Earthly father and he knows me. He was kind, generous, and wanted what was best for me. He had good intentions. So even when he forced me to learn to change a tire and work on cars (something I was loathe to do) – it was for my own good. Even my bad attitude, and whining and complaining wouldn’t deter my Dad from telling me “no” about something or requiring me to do or learn something that I didn’t want. Even in my frustration with him, I knew that always, my father meant well for me.

And he KNOWS me…he knows full well what what things will hurt my feelings, or what’s likely to bring me joy. Likewise, when my Heavenly Father allows trials and hardships, doesn’t He know me even more than my Earthly father does? Doesn’t he love me even more? Shouldn’t I trust God The Father at least as much as I trusted Ben, my father on Earth?

If I could trust the man God used to bring me to life, shouldn’t I trust the God who gave us life all the more? (And even if I can’t wrap my mind around that, knowing my Dad is in heaven, he’d certainly intercede on my behalf when I face a trial or hardship.) And yet, he wouldn’t have to. You know why? Because the Bible tells us that Lord Jesus himself is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us!

The last things I learned from my Dad were:
About myself.
About our souls.
About family.
About God the Father,
And Jesus the Son.

Peepers Specs, Sales and Coupons

**Disclosure, when you order through our links, you’ll get the sale we described and we’ll get the credit for referring you.**

HOW I FOUND GORGEOUS READING GLASSES
Way back in the day, I used to be something of a “fashionista.” I’d been an international model for David Salomon, been in the Mrs. America pageant, stuff like that. I liked to be stylish. But time marched on, I had six kids, hit my 40’s and realistically, maintaining a high-fashion sense of style became a lesser priority – but I still liked it. Then something eye-opening happened which put stylishness back within my grasp.

Without realizing it, I’d begun this habit of taking my glasses off in order to read fine print. I’ve been nearsighted since I was a little girl, but with this new development it was hard to see close up with my distance corrective lenses. So I gradually stopped wearing my contact lenses. (After all, sliding a contact lens off my eyeball to read something just didn’t seem feasible.)  Believe it or not, none of this even bothered me, it happened so gradually I didn’t notice the impact. I just wore my glasses instead of contacts and I pipped off my glasses to read something.

DRIVING INTO THE SUN
One day I happened to be wearing my contact lenses while I was driving my husband’s car. The glare from the sun caused me to reach for a pair of his sunglasses…and it was an eye opening experience. Aside from cutting down the glare, and shading my eyes, I realized I could see the dashboard and everything else – with crystal clarity. Well what do you know?  Turns out, he had a pair of Bifocal Reading Sunglasses. I went around wearing those glasses EVERYWHERE. Indoors, outdoors, day or night – even to church. (It was getting ridiculous.) But I REALLY loved seeing things easily again. Eventually, I got my eyes examined and got my own new, progressive, no line prescription glasses. But when I wear contacts, I still want to be able to see EVERYTHING.

This is where Womens designer reading glasses from Peepers come in handy. And since, there’s no such thing as too many reading glasses, it makes sense to stock up on a few of the ones on sale here: Sale items that need to go to make way for new glasses. Huge savings.

These glasses are pretty. Nice. They don’t look like drugstore reading glasses. Plus at Peepers Specs, there are frequent sales where you can take an extra percent off, and shipping is always free on orders over $42. Right now you can save an extra 20% the whole site. Including the sale/clearance items.

So learn a little tidbit for women of a certain age about seeing again – and how to look good in the process. No need to look like a “little old lady” just because you want to read. Try Peepers Specs today, while the automatic coupon still works!

How Banana Republic Saved my Presentation


**Disclosure: When you click on the links in this post, you’ll get any sales and discounts – we’ll get the credit for referring you.**

It was one of those times when push had come to shove.
The rubber had met the road.
We were in the eleventh hour.
It was a time that tried (wo)men’s souls.

I had NOTHING to wear. 
(Seriously…I had nothing.)

You see, for the first time ever, I was going to be one of the featured speakers at my industry’s largest trade convention. It was Affiliate Summit East. There would be record attendance, meetings filled with colleagues, business contacts, prospective merchants and everyone in the industry that I know professionally. I was delivering a presentation on work/life family balance. Obviously I needed to make a good impression.


The only problem was I discovered I had gotten a bit too curvy to fit in the business suit I had planned to wear for my presentation. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I could still get it on alright…except my legs looked like squeezed sausages – and the buttons on the jacket were under so much pressure that it was safer for anyone within eye shot if I left it unbuttoned…thus revealing a blouse that had mysteriously become so overly form-fitting, it practically called out: “Vavoom, hubba-hubba!” (Obviously, that wouldn’t do.)

I was leaving for New York City within a few days, and I needed something professional and appropriate, and I needed it pronto. If I knew then what I know now, what I would’ve done was order three different sizes of the same dress online from Banana Republic. Who knew I could’ve saved myself so much aggravation (not to mention gasoline and miles on my van) if I’d just gotten a dress from here? The BananaRepublic.com Factory Store

It turns out, it’s far more affordable than I ever imagined to dress like a woman of means. I’d had the impression that Banana Republic clothes cost a fortune, and they sure look like they do, however in reality, with a good sale or sticking to the factory store or their clearance section – even my seriously frugal, “Mom of six” budget can afford their clothes.


Plus, there’s Free shipping on orders over $50
.
And free returns and exchanges by mail

.
(Those details will prove to be important.)

Affiliate Summit East - Banana Republic Dress
Sabrina presentng at Affiliate Summit East in an affordable Banana Republic dress

This is me at the podium at Affiliate Summit East in that beautiful, Banana Republic dress that I got off their clearance rack for $37.50. The reason I should’ve just ordered online instead of driving to the mall, looking for a parking spot, trying on dresses etc, is because it would’ve been easier, faster and cheaper to just browse through their online selection of dresses on sale, and order three of the same style dresses. One in the size *I thought* I needed, then one size larger and one smaller – just in case. Then FOR FREE I could’ve had them shipped directly to the hotel. And it wouldn’t have cost me a dime to send back the two sizes that didn’t fit. Just put them back in the box they were shipped in, stick on their return label and sent it back. Plus I would’ve had a greater selection of dresses to choose from by shopping online.

Conclusion: 
Shopping online at Banana Republic saves time, energy and money. And it made me look good at Affiliate Summit, no matter what kind of curves I was sporting. You can too!

Find the Ideal Dress at BananaRepublic.com And Meet Me at Affiliate Summit East 2015 this year!

Sabrinaomalone.com Returns!

Welcome Back to Sabrina O’Malone’s blog!

Would you believe that I inadvertently didn’t have a blog? (Um…for nearly a year?) But a few minutes ago, when I went to upload an absolutely killer post, (if I must say so myself) I discovered that my old blog was gone. Completely gone. So there I was, all by myself… with nothing but blank pages. I instantly surmised I’d need to set up a whole new blog – and it would behoove me to do it rather quickly.

Totally from scratch.

And here it is.

(Guess that’s what I get for not using WordPress in the first place, and for deprioritizing the old blog for such a long time.)

<Positive self-talk and attempts to put a good spin on this follow>

Time for a fresh start! smile emoticon
I get to learn new things! smile emoticon
Create with the skills and knowledge I have today! smile emoticon
‪#‎ToDoListBuster‬ ‪#‎UnexpectedProject‬ ‪#‎ThatsWhatIGet‬