Conversations with a Coach

My father and I often spoke about life coaches. In a way, he was a crisis coach for many people. People came to him with a problem, he analysed it with them and helped them look for solutions. He was a financial coach for others, a bit more structured, and something he clearly understood.

We spoke about coaches when he discussed solutions for people who had consulted with him. I think he knew a lot more about them than he let on, but used this trick of ignorance to absorb as much information from others on a topic, so that he had no bias.

The movie “The Bucket List” came out the year before my father died. I only saw it afterwards. It would have made a good conversation with him.

The thing people forget about the bucket list is you need a plain tin bucket to hold the water of your dreams. And that bucket comes with hard work. Then as you grow the dreams you need to use that water to make sure the plants of your dreams continue to grow. Some of these plants will be fruit and vegetables you eat every day, others will be shade trees to relax under while others may be blades of grass in a field that will inspire you.

But besides working to buy the bucket and fill it with water using dedication and integrity, I wonder when my father defined his Bucket List and what was on that list. I have some of his writing, but those are mainly speeches.

His list must have had categories like family, work, Greece, the community and Hellenism.

He knew he wanted to marry my mother from when she was 17 and he was 19. He wanted children to educate and leave to stand on their own feet. He wanted to ensure some financial support for his grandchildren.

He reclaimed his father’s house in the village in Greece, restored it and treasured his annual holidays there. He secured his mother’s vineyards to make wine from them each year to store in the cellar. He immersed himself in the village community and became one of them. He set up a business in Greece to secure more property (and add a lot more stress to his life).

He founded the local Greek Community in Alberton and gave it direction for many years, facilitating the building of a hall and then church. He dreamt of a local Greek school, but was a vehicle for other dreams of other people in the building of SAHETI. He dreamt of and founded the Hellenic Federation.

Those were the big dreams. The small ones were just as important. Like building a soap box cart with me.

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