Though Daddy was brilliant in many ways, he lacked a similar brilliance when it came to his health. I'm not sure when he decided to eschew good health, whether it was while in India or here, but he did.
He was always stressed (how could you not be trying to build a new life for yourself), never worked out, ate unhealthy foods (he started eating a lot more meat when he came to the States since there weren't many vegetarian options at that time), smoked when I was younger, had high blood pressure/high cholesterol/diabetes (all when he was in his 20s-30s), and a family history of heart disease (thank you Daddy for those possible genes I may have inherited, including the male pattern baldness...). And as a result, he had a heart attack at 39 years old.
When I tell my colleagues the above - without fail- their eyes get big, a look of concern takes over their face, and they tell me I need to take care of myself. Not shocking considering 39 years old is an amazingly young age to have a heart attack even taking into account all of the bad things Daddy did that he could have controlled (whenever I've seen other patients that young having heart attacks, they either had horrible genes or they partied harder than I could even imagine).
It is frightening to me that in only 6.5 years (ie NOW), I'll be that same age. Yes, I do not have most of his controllable risk factors AND I started taking statins and a baby ASA every day since I was 26, but still I recognize the very real risk I face even though some people don't appreciate how much I do.
Considering the above, what always annoyed me was any time I lost my temper as an adult, Daddy would tell me I needed to better control my anger because I could raise my pressure and something bad may happen to me. Ironic considering even this past year with his health miserably failing, Daddy would still get mad and yell at people for various things (to be fair, he obviously had a lot of stress he was dealing with).
He was always worrying about me and never about himself. And if he really wanted to show me he cared, he would've taken better care of himself... so frustrating.
Daddy had a lot of good advice for others, but there were many instances where he would not heed his own advice. And if he had, he may still be here with us.
Apologies if I sound harsh, but I need to vent from time to time. And I've learned self-reflection is key in working through the healing process since I need to continue to strengthen my battered soul. So another goal of mine is to not give others advice I myself am not willing to take, and to do even a better job of taking care myself.
Because though there is a great deal I can learn from Daddy's successes, it pales in comparison to what I can learn from his shortcomings.