Today marks 10 years from the day my dad passed away. The day that marked my life forever as… “before my dad died” and “after my dad died”.
Most of you know, but I’ll share it again… my dad died at 56 years old of a heart attack. Our lives changed forever in the summer of 2010. He was such a wonderful man. A wonderful husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, co-worker, mentor, minister… he was good to the people.
Not just the people IN his life… but THE people. ALL of the people.
July 23, the day he had his heart attack, to August 2, the day he passed away, have been the hardest days of the year for the past 10 years for me. Those days remind me of what we went through… what he went through. He never really regained consciousness. He was in CCU on a ventilator the entire 10 days. We slept in chairs in the CCU waiting room for 10 days.
I’ve been dreading this week for a while. Especially in the midst of our current situation. I was nervous that the added grief would overwhelm me.
But, friends… in normal Nick Mackaly fashion… my dad took care of me. He sent support my way. He sent friendships my way. He sent a hope for the the future directly my way.
This past week, three different winks from 3 different friends who’s presence in my life seems so divine that it’s hard to deny… especially in times like these.
What makes me even more happy than seeing the wink play out in my life… is that I get to see it play out in theirs as well. When things align and situations like these happen… I am reminded that not only was I in the right place at the right time… but so were they. Not only did I say “yes” to the right things… but so did they.
On Sunday, a podcast that I had recorded with my dear friend Amanda From TX went live for all to hear. We recorded it a few days before… on July 23… (the start date of what is normally a rough 10 days)… and then it aired on Sunday. Amanda is special to me because we sort of had to get real real, real fast. We began our friendship just a few years ago… went through a rough patch… of really just not knowing each other well enough to see through some things… both had to make some decisions on our relationship with each other and THANKFULLY were able to restore our friendship at the beginning of this year… right before the craziness hit.
We talked about hospitality, entrepreneurship, my childhood, Evan, my parents… it was such a good talk and exactly what I needed to start those next 10 days. A literal recap of my life. Of my passions. My accomplishments. My failures. My loves. And my losses. To listen to the podcast you can click HERE.
On Monday, I literally sat next to my pool all day with my wonderful friend Bree Iman Clarke and caught up on nearly five years of missed conversations. Bree and I have worked along side each other in so many events over the years and never had the time to actually slow down and talk real life. Her twin boys and my kids warmed up to each other with a quickness and we outlasted them in the blazing July sun.
We spent hours talking about business, success, failure, marriage, race, family, relationships… and how we’ve remained steadfast when others fell to the wayside… out of pure pride or stubbornness… we are not sure which! It was so so good for my soul. I sent her a text Thursday and said “I’m still running off the happiness from Monday… deep enough conversation to feel real but not so deep that it’s exhausting.” Ya know???
We needed that slow down. That rest. That soul fuel. She posted this little recap in her weekly newsletter and it just made my heart so happy. A friendship that has existed for years and was literally brought to life in a season… that in my own personal life… has been historically consumed by death and grief.
Later in the week, my friend Susie Davis reached out and asked if I would want to share a recipe in her newsletter and then do an Instagram LIVE with her on Saturday morning talking about Pancake Cereal. I adore Susie so this was such a sweet honor.
I began following her a couple of years ago after she shared a recipe and a word on IF: Table. I instantly fell in love with her calm, happy spirit… her love of yoga, horses, estate sales, cooking, mentoring, writing and TEXAS. I attended her Soul Care Saturday workshop in Austin at the beginning of this year and loved every bit of it.
I did my usual “say ‘yes’, figure it out later” and ended up talking Pancake Cereal from the back of our Market Wagon at the Rockwall Farmers Market. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We had such a great time. The pancakes turned out perfectly, we giggled and laughed and even got a big honk from a passing 18 wheeler. Texas, y’all.
Like I said earlier, these three winks were of significant importance to me. I love when my dad sends me a beautiful, red cardinal or song on the radio or a chance encounter with someone named Nick… but these winks were different. They involved 3 people that I met after my dad passed away. Remember… my life splits… and these friends came in the “after my dad passed away.”
They didn’t know him. They didn’t sit with me in the hospital during those 10 days… I know they would have had they known me then. But the Lord used them to comfort me during this time… 10 years later. They each said “yes” one thing that led them to this particular moment.
Amanda said yes to starting a podcast in the middle of a pandemic and racial unrest. She could have waited for the “right moment”.
Bree said yes to driving an hour to my house for a simple pool date and pepperoni pizza. During a time when she is being pulled in so many different directions by projects and media requests and schedules of her own. She could have spent her one day off in the comfort of her own home.
Susie said yes to continuing to pursue joy… in a time of so much uncertainty in the world and in her hometown of Austin, TX… she said yes to sharing food and light and love and laughter.
Again, my dad took care of me. This week, I felt so loved and so seen and so cherished in these three moments.
I am so thankful that these three friends said “yes” to a calling, to a nudge, to an invite… every time we follow that nudge… step out into that urge… we align ourselves with the spirit and a plan so much bigger than our own.
Thank you, Mandy. Thank you, Bree. Thank you, Susie. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, dad.
10 years since the loss of my security… and I feel so taken care of.
Happy Sunday, friends… I hope you say “yes” this week.