A quote often attributed to Mark Twain says, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Many ideas are expressed about the five W’s — who, what, where, when and why — and we all have opinions, at different times, about which of those words is most important. For example, if your child needs an operation, you’re going to want to know who will perform the surgery. If you are out of gas on I-16 near Nowhere, Georgia, you might consider when the tow truck would get there. If you just got into the car with your 16-year-old daughter, you might ask where she wants to eat. If your spouse shows up with a new car that you haven’t had conversations about, you’ll likely wonder what in the world is happening.
I think an important word is why. Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries tells us that “why” is used in questions to ask the reason for or purpose of something. As a dad, I know that I have aresponsibility to provide not only the basic materialistic items for my family, but also the direction of it. Moms provide daily materialistic items and the nurturing of children.
Understanding my why enabled me to crank out 50 to 60 hours per week at work. It has kept me focused on my job for the past 34 years. Dads don’t get sick. Moms are never tired or sleepy. You are the first ones to complete your meal even when there’s one biscuit left on the table. You are always ready to go to the pool on Saturdays at 8 a.m.
One word that’s often overlooked but gave me my purpose or reason for establishing the Abbie DeLoach Foundation is “how.” Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries defines this word as the way or manner of something. I wanted Abbie to be remembered for being a competitor and a caring heart for people, and someone who was willing to go the extra mile for her family and friends. I did not want her name to be associated with grief, chaos and tragedy, but with hope, joy and a bright future.
After Abbie’s passing, it was how I wanted Abbie beremembered after her short 21 years here that gave me my why as a dad, friend, business partner and husband. It gave me a purpose for the rest of my life — to provide educational opportunities for students who might not have the resources. These are student-athletes who commit themselves to a team goal instead of their own goals and future nurses, many of whom started their training during the COVID-19 epidemic or havetraveled to foreign countries to help heal and open the hearts of people to know Jesus Christ.
So, I ask you: Why do you get up every day, and how do you want people to remember your — and your family’s — legacy?
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