The last few months have brought me immense sadness, lasting joy, and an even greater focus and clarity on living a life of value and purpose in the here and now. I have cried, prayed, and made decisions that I certainly wouldn’t have made had I not had to say goodbye, so soon, to one of the greatest and most influential men of my life – my father, Paul Brown.
Exactly three months ago, to this very day, my family stood around his hospital bed in the living room of my parents house and my daddy left this earth we live on. It was at this time that I realized my life was no longer the same and that that point forward marked a completely new chapter in my life – if moving forward was even possible.
At the time, moving forward in my life just didn’t seem right, my father was gone, and no longer in my day to day life. I needed time to mourn what I have lost that was so precious to me. After the commotion of his memorial service died down and a month of reflection and sadness went by, I began to realize that even though he is no longer here physically, he is still very much a part of my day to day life, as he will always be a part of me.
It is my belief that every person you meet has something they can teach you. My father was no exception as I have learned so many things from him throughout my life. The past few months have taught me a lot as I have taken time to reflect, time to assess, and time to create an even clearer vision of where I want to go and what I want my life to stand for. I have learned three very big life lessons from my father that I would like to share.
Lesson #1: You Have the Power to Make Your Own Future
This first lesson that I learned from my daddy, I learned at an early age. My father was adopted and when I was just 3 years old, I remember the day my little brother and I met my grandmother, Carol Moore. All of his life, my father wondered who it was he came from, and why he had been given up for adoption. His adopted family wasn’t as nurturing as they could have been, and my father struggled with feelings of abandonment and lack of love for all his young life. He later married my mother, and then was encouraged to begin the astronomical task of finding his mom. After years of searching, he finally found her and then did the hard work of trudging through emotional pain and inviting her to be a part of our family. Because he faced his pains head-on to make a change in his life – he was rewarded with the mother he never knew, my mother was rewarded with a happier husband, and my four brothers and I were rewarded with a loving grandmother who greatly enriched our lives as we grew. He changed the future by taking the necessary and difficult steps he needed to.
Lesson #2: Your Skills and Experiences Can Help Others
The second lesson I learned from my daddy, was one that had been modeled for me from as far as I can remember. Once my father found his birth mother, he went on to get a private detective’s license, founded his own company in the budding era of the Internet, and MiracleSearch.com was born. Over the course of the next 20+ years, he consulted hundreds of adoptees who were looking for their birth parents and birth parents who were looking for their children. It was because of him that many happy reunions happened in the lives of people who before only had discouragement. My father had a gift, and he boldly used it as his personal life’s ministry to God.
Lesson #3: Enjoy Every Day of Your Life
This third lesson was one that I have been reflecting on often since my father has passed. Every single day of life is a precious gift from God, to be used in whatever way that we want. We can choose our life’s experience. For me, I have learned that anger, regret, and complaints is a waste of the short time that we have on this earth, and that love, acceptance and grace towards the people around you, as well as perseverance to the goals and good things you want in your life is what should occupy the time that we have. Going after your dreams should start today, and each day thereafter that you build upon it – you will feel fulfilled and happy inside that you are doing something of value to you and to others.
There is a beautiful quote that goes: Don’t let your music die inside of you.
My father certainly didn’t and he will forever be remembered through the families he reunited and the bonds that were formed through his life’s work. My father was an amazing person and is loved and missed so much. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about him, or feel him as I excitedly push forward with my business dreams. He was my number one supporter, and I will always hold on to one of the last things he said to me… “I’m so proud”.