Sprint 16 Review – Step by Step

Sprint Review

  •  April 14th through April 20th, 2017
  • Weight: 353 lbs. (-6.9)

Retrospective

As expected, a little slower. As I write this, on the 21st, I’m confident this Epic will finish next week.

The highlight is this week were:

  1. My cardiologist, the excellent Dr. Nisha Bhatia, told me that my echocardiogram shows that my heart is working very well, and cleared me to ramp up the exercise portion of my healthy lifestyle. I/m getting a stress-test in a few weeks to give me an idea of how much I can tax the heart.
  2. With the news from Dr. Bhatia in mind, I went for a long hike on the trails of the town. In total, I went 3.4 miles in 1:10. It was a great walk.

If you’ll remember from my early blogging, I found out about my heart issue when I had tried to go for short walks and couldn’t make it because my heart was going all wonky. No more of that, and it’s a relief.

What’s even better is that my heart’s recovery from high pulse rates is improving, and it seems like the highs are less high. It just feels like my heart is getting used to me walking about.

Anyway, Here’s a quick rundown of my success this week:

  1. Stop consuming calories at 8PM – Good
  2. Burn over 800 “Move calories” – Great – weekly average 1,040. I’m going to change this story next epic.
  3. 7 hours of sleep per night – Good – averaged 6:52. It’s not that I’m not going to bed in time, but that I have trouble getting to sleep some nights.
  4. Good – No diet sodas, and my water consumption is way up.
  5. Don’t drink Alcohol at home – Good.
  6. No second helpings – Good.

Feedback

From Alex Brown…

Tom, you mention managing Muri through your process…do you prioritize your backlog? I found this very helpful because it gave me the space and structure to miss my lower priority stories on occasion while still keeping a sharp focus on the top priority stories. (that typically were the most impactful ones)

This also came in handy later for maintaining a target weight after I had achieved my goals because it created a “bubble story.” If I was trending toward the top of my target range I would add this story back to the backlog for the sprint, but if I was on the lower end of the range it came off. In my case, this story was “as a person looking to lose weight I will reduce the amount of carbohydrates and simple sugars I consume, since these are calorically-dense foods.” It was a very effective story for reducing weight, but as someone who loves bread and pasta it was one I didn’t want to overdo.

Keep up the great work.

I’ve been thinking about it, and might discuss it next Epic post.

Changes

None, but there will be a few next week.

Stories

As someone using agility to enable a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I want to burn an extra 800 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
  3. I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  4. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  5. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  6. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).

Sprint 15 Review – Starting Out Strong

Sprint Review

  •  April 7th through April 13th, 2017
  • Weight: 355 lbs. (-4.9)

Retrospective

Well, that was good. It was easier than I’d anticipated to hop back into this plan. Not that I did everything perfectly (I didn’t) or that I met every story’s acceptance criteria (I didn’t), but (excuse the southern twang) I done good.

I’m also not naive enough to think that a loss of 4.9 pounds in a week is going to keep going. HA! It came on slow, it’s gonna leave slow.

What I have found, however, is an inkling of how to avoid derailing in the future; it comes down to mindset. At a few points during the week, I found myself facing a hard yes or no on something, and I lost track of Muri; unreasonableness. This is a classic derailer for me – I have a need to be perfect.

Here’s a quick rundown of my success this week:

  1. Stop consuming calories at 8PM – Good
  2. Burn over 800 “Move calories” – Great – weekly average 980. I’m considering upping the goal.
  3. 7 hours of sleep per night – OK – 4 out of 6 nights tracked. Not because I didn’t get to bed early, I didn’t fall asleep.
  4. OK – We had one diet soda left, which I drank, but I’ve been drinking a LOT of water.
  5. Don’t drink Alcohol at home – OK. For two nice meals Judi made I had a glass of wine. I’m considering a change to the story.
  6. No second helpings – Good. I’m considering a story to leave more on my plate for the first serving at restaurants.

Changes

I’m not changing anything this sprint – This is new, and I want to keep doing what I’m doing now. Plus, I don’t trust the numbers from my “Move” reading. I’m going to recalibrate to make sure it’s accurate.

Stories

As someone using agility to enable a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I want to burn an extra 800 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
  3. I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  4. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  5. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  6. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).

Epic Six – It’ll Be Just Like Starting Over

Hi. It’s been a while.

19 months ago, I wrote my last post on this effort. I thought, incorrectly it seems, that I was “fine.” I thought I was handling the death of my father… fine. I thought I was handling receiving a double-bypass… fine. I thought I was handling a new boss, being run over by a bus (figuratively), being “the rock”, the fixer… fine.

In reality, though, I wasn’t handling any of it, and I was certainly not fine. It was only the support of family and friends that kept me from just dissolving into a puddle.

A Quick Recap


On April 10th (2017), at the Global Scrum Gathering, I attended a breakout session called Ride the Scrum Wave to Health and Wellness (or How I Used Scrum Principles to Lose 40 lbs.) by Alex Brown. Alex is a Wharton School Graduate, the former COO of Scrum, Inc., and is currently a Principal at Glaessel Ventures. He’s also a very good speaker.

Alex shared how he used Scrum principles and practices to control his weight loss. He established meaningful, manageable, and achievable goals. He developed and prioritized the behavior changes he needed to introduce into User Stories, like “As someone trying to lose weight, I want to eat my last meal of the day before 8:00pm, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.” He also instituted a short iteration period of a week, with his weigh-in the sprint review.

I’ve been a Scrum practitioner/evangelist for seven years, and I’m amazed this never occurred to me. I know that Scrum is not just for software development. At Kennedy Space Center, I coached some folks on using Scrum for Hardware, now a rapidly growing practice. I’ve even discussed using Scrum to manage our household goals with my wife, but using it for my weight… never occurred to me.

Agile Forth, Epic 1

And so I started. This effort has been evolutionary, changing as I learned more about myself and what I was doing. In the beginning, I just wanted to lose weight.

The body is a complex, dispositional system. To paraphrase Aaron Dignan in Brave New Work, complex systems are dispositional – we can only make informed guesses about what our bodies are likely to do, but we can’t be sure.

The diets I’ve tried, and I’ve tried many, treat the body like complicated system and take causal approaches, as if there’s a root cause for being fat. They say “eat this,” or “don’t eat that,” or “do this new exercise.”

Issues with complex systems aren’t identifiable through root cause analyses, and aren’t usually solvable by fixing “one thing”; they require myriad small touches.

Enter Agility

Agile and Scrum are, at their hearts, scientific approaches to getting things done. Instead of setting a BIG GOAL and doing BIG THINGS over long periods of time, you break things into small chunks, make hypotheses about what you can get done in small amounts of time, work on them, and then look at your result. Afterwards, you can change your direction – as often as you need to.

As I mentioned in Epic 1 – it never occurred to me to apply this approach to weight loss, but it makes sense, and so I tried it.

A Traditional Approach

If I were looking at my weight loss from a traditional “Big Goal” point of view, I have to perform the following:

  • I have to lose about 150 pounds
  • Whatever approach I use, it has to be something I stick with, and so I better pick right
  • I’m going to be working out for many hours per week, or else I’ll gain the weight back
  • I have to give up a whole lot of things I like

And the best part is that I don’t know what will work, why it may work, or how long it will take. Moreover, there aren’t small victories – if I don’t hit 150 pounds of loss, I’ve failed!

An Iterative and Incremental Approach

That’s not what works for me. In an agile approach, I break my effort into small increments of work. In agile, one word for these is Epics, and to make the scope of what I’m doing less scary, my Epics are only 10 pounds in size; lose 10 pounds… SUCCESS!

How long will it take to lose 10 pounds? It might be 3 weeks, it may be 6 if I hit a plateau. That makes it tough to determine if what I’m doing works. Instead of waiting until 10 pounds is gone, I’m going to work my time into small iterations, called Sprints, that are each one week long.

At the end of each week, I’ll take an honest look at my progress and performance. I then have a “retrospective”, examining what went right and what went wrong, and document that. I make adjustments, update the stories for the next week, and start over. I’ll share all of this with you.

Each week I’ll commit to what I’m going to do in that week using Stories. Each Story is written along the lines of this example: As someone using agility to enable a healthy lifestyle transformation, I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.

The beauty of this is that I’m only ever committing to a week. If something works, I might do more of it. If something doesn’t, either change it or pitch it. If I have something special coming up (like a party or a trip), I can change my stories to take that into account, instead of getting derailed.

My Derailers

As you can read elsewhere in this blog, the Summer of ’17 was a major disaster for me, with the death of my Father and my double-bypass. It took me months to physically recover from the latter, but my emotional recovery from the former took longer.

I then tried to reboot, and wasn’t ready, and so became ashamed of not doing what I said I was going to do. Between the pain and shame and, well, everything else, I needed this to be perfect.

Perfect is the Enemy

I wanted to start this over. But when? How? I kept throwing obstacles in my own way… I need… walking shoes. I need… to fix the blog. I need… to find time for this… etc. This is my form of procrastination.

I wanted it to be perfect. There are plenty of versions of quotes on “perfect being the enemy of good”, but I like this one…


(I)nstead of pushing yourself to an impossible “perfect,” and therefore getting nowhere, accept “good.” Many things worth doing are worth doing badly.

Gretchen Rubin, Huffington Post

I was pushing myself to an impossible “perfect,” and getting nowhere. Well, if I end up doing this badly, at least I’m doing it.

The biggest question in my head, reflecting on the shame of trying to restart this and failing, was “Do I show what I’ve done before?” It would have been easier, but it would have been cheating, so yes. In the spirit of full transparency, I’m NOT restarting this effort from scratch. I’ve left my previous posts out there, because I didn’t restart life, I’m just continuing.

Time to get this train rolling. All aboard!

Epic Six is set to begin, as an imperfect reboot!

  • Date: 4/7/2019
  • Weight: 359.4 lbs. (yep, put it all back on…)
  • Epic Definition of Done: 349.4 lbs.

Stories

As someone using agility to enable a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I want to burn an extra 800 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
  3. I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  4. I don’t drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  5. I do not drink alcohol at home, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. For social occasions out, I give myself license.
  6. I don’t have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes. Even bottomless french fries (sigh).

Let the Merriment Begin!

Sprint Results

Epics

Epic Five Update – A little bit of Muri

After the initial post, I received this feedback from Alex Brown, who’s talk led me down this path in the first place…

Tom, Its great that your recovery is going well, and that you have resumed using Scrum for personal improvement.

You raise an interesting point about the importance of deliberate wording, and that “want to do” is not the same thing as “will do.” A good product owner recognizes the difference between the two and knows when to use one versus the other. But as with so many things in Agile, context is important here. I think “want to” entered your weight loss stories through the ones I had used that you brilliantly adapted to your needs.

I had given a lot of thought to whether to use “will” or “want to” in framing my targeted behavioral changes. In my case, the impediment I was trying to overcome to lose weight was one of focus and mindfulness to behavioral change rather than a lack of will power to see the changes through. By having a backlog to legitimizing the behavioral changes as something I should focus on I was already overcoming that impediment. I deliberately used the softer user story wording to avoid the Muri of unreasonable expectation…giving myself permission to occasionally fail a user story without the accompanying guilt and self-critique that is often an even greater impediment to sustained success.

Well…

He’s right, of course.

Muri

Muri (無理) is a Japanese word meaning “unreasonableness; impossible; beyond one’s power; too difficult; by force; perforce; forcibly; compulsorily; excessiveness; immoderation”,[1] and is a key concept in the Toyota Production System (TPS) as one of the three types of waste (muda, mura, muri).[2] 

Wikipedia – Muri

The problem with going the route I originally posted is that there is no room for error, for a bad day, for human frailty. And lordy, am I frail.

One of the wastes of Muri is unreasonableness. Let’s take a look at Story 2: I burn at least 1000 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity. 

Is this reasonable for anyone recovering from open-heart surgery? Let me reiterate… I’m morbidly obese, and there are times when burning 1000 calories one day has me hurting the next day. I live in Florida, and we have these big storms that roll through, which make walking outside or driving to the gym impossible, and let’s not forget the 90 degree days with 90% humidity. In looking at this from a reasonableness point of view, it’s not reasonable. When I changed it from “I want to” to “I burn”, I set myself up for failure.

Other stories, like I do not consume calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat might be reasonable without the “want to.” When 8 rolls around, stop eating. Seems fairly simple.

I think the “reasonableness” test is an important one. With that in mind, let me try again…

As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I do not consume calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I do not drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  3. I do not drink alcohol, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. 
  4. I have only a single helping at meals, because extra helpings add calories without exploring new tastes.
  5. I want to burn at least 1000 calories each day to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 200 calories per work day.
    2. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 400 calories per non-work day.
  6. I want to sleep at least 7 hours per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  7. I want to eat breakfast and lunch every day, because when I don’t I tend to eat without thought to satisfy hunger before dinner.
  8. I may have a planned snack between meals, but only when I’m hungry, as a way of keeping myself from eating mindlessly and consuming more than I need.

So, the first four are really binary decisions – either I do or I don’t. I don’t consume late calories, I don’t drink alcohol or diet sodas, and I have a single helping only. I’m good at binary decisions.

The second four are variable and, at times, out of my control. The weather or work may conspire to keep me from burning calories, and a headache or something else might affect my sleep.

For now, I’ll keep the binaries as will stories, and the others as want to.

And with that, let’s get started.

Epic Five Begins!

  • Date: September 24, 2017
  • Starting Weight: 336.3
  • Epic Definition of Done: 326.3

Stories

As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I do not consume calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I do not drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  3. I do not drink alcohol, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. 
  4. I have only a single helping at meals, because extra helpings add calories without exploring new tastes.
  5. I want to burn at least 1000 calories each day to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 200 calories per work day.
    2. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 400 calories per non-work day.
  6. I want to sleep at least 7 hours per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  7. I want to eat breakfast and lunch every day, because when I don’t I tend to eat without thought to satisfy hunger before dinner.
  8. I may have a planned snack between meals, but only when I’m hungry, as a way of keeping myself from eating mindlessly and consuming more than I need.

Sprint Results

Epics

Epic Five – Three Months Later

Well, it’s been three months since my Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG). During these three months, not only have I had the surgery, but my father passed away and I got a promotion. Here’s a quick recap…

My apologies for the missing sprints.

NOTE: This has been updated here: Epic Five Update – A little bit of Muri

The last three months

When I realized I had to undergo surgery, I began Epic Four with some much simpler stories.

As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I want to stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I want to burn an extra 700 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity. (note: this is adjusted for my recovery period).
    1. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 200 calories per work day.
  3. I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.

As someone recovering from Open Heart Surgery:

  1. I follow the instructions of my physicians to minimize the risk of complications
    1. I sleep on my back, to minimize the chance of sternum injury.
    2. A do not lift more than eight pounds.
    3. I use proper wound-care procedures.

Take a look at those different sets of stories. Do you notice anything different about the first set and the second?

Want a hint? It’s all in the verbs.

Verbs Matter

If you’re not familiar with User Stories, they generally have the following information:

  • The person or role of the user
  • What the user needs to do
  • The business case

So… As an accountant I balance the books to ensure that we have a complete view of the organization’s finances.

When I first began practicing Scrum as a Scrum Master, I kept seeing a pattern in the stories written by our Product Owners. In looking at my own stories, I saw the same pattern. Let’s take a look at one of my stories.

“As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation, I want to stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.”

Do you see it? I don’t stop consuming calories, but I WANT TO! I don’t burn extra calories, but I want to!

The problem with stories that use “I want to” or “I need to” is that they can be satisfied with absolutely no effort; I didn’t say I was going to stop consuming calories, only that I wanted to. I want to stop eating at 8, burn extra calories, sleep 7 hours, etc. I can do all of that while eating pizza at 2 in the morning from the couch I’ve been sitting on all day.

I’ve actually done that, now that I think of it.

Let’s look at my complete pre-surgery story list:

As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I want to stop consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I want to burn an extra 1000 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 200 calories per work day.
    2. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 400 calories per non-work day.
  3. I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  4. I want to stop drinking diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  5. I do not drink alcohol, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body.
  6. I will not have second helpings at meals, because this adds significant calories without exploring new tastes.
  7. I want to eat lunch every day, because when I don’t I tend to eat without thought to satisfy hunger before dinner.
  8. I want to consume a planned snack between meals WHEN HUNGRY, as a way of keeping myself from eating mindlessly and consuming more than I need.

I have six “wants”, one “will not,” and only one “do not”. This list prevents me from making meaningful change, because I don’t have to change, I just have to want to.

Some grammar fans might say this is an active vs. passive voice thing, but it’s not; the sentences say different things because the verbs are different. With active voice, the subject performs the action, while in passive voice the subject is acted upon. This is not that.

Let’s clean up the story list.

As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I don’t consuming calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I burn at least 1000 calories each day, as measured by the Watch’s “Move” measure, to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 200 calories per work day.
    2. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 400 calories per non-work day.
  3. I sleep at least 7 hours per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  4. I do not drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  5. I do not drink alcohol, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body.
  6. I have only a single helping at meals, because extra helpings add calories without exploring new tastes.
  7. I eat breakfast and lunch every day, because when I don’t I tend to eat without thought to satisfy hunger before dinner.
  8. I may have a planned snack between meals, but only when I’m hungry, as a way of keeping myself from eating mindlessly and consuming more than I need.

These are all shorter (good). Notice that story 8 still has that optional feel to it. That’s because this empowers me to NOT have the snack. It was originally written that I want to consume a planned snack. Now I may, but the story doesn’t assume I want to.

Is this all semantics? I submit that it is not. In my opinion, a meaningful transformation has to be actual, not aspirational; it’s not enough to want, Yoda would tell me not to try… I have to do.

 

Epic Five Begins!

  • Date: September 24, 2017
  • Starting Weight: 336.3
  • Epic Definition of Done: 326.3

Stories

As someone trying to lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle transformation:

  1. I do not consume calories at 8 PM, because my body stores unspent calories overnight as fat.
  2. I do not drink diet sodas, to avoid any side-effects of such, and to not try to fool my body that it’s getting extra calories.
  3. I do not drink alcohol, because the calories add no nutritional value to my body. 
  4. I have only a single helping at meals, because extra helpings add calories without exploring new tastes.
  5. I want to burn at least 1000 calories each day to ensure that I am getting exercise and maintaining a minimum level of activity.
    1. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 200 calories per work day.
    2. TASK: Work out enough to burn at least 400 calories per non-work day.
  6. I want to sleep at least 7 hours per night, because when I don’t my body tries to substitute calories for rest.
  7. I want to eat breakfast and lunch every day, because when I don’t I tend to eat without thought to satisfy hunger before dinner.
  8. I may have a planned snack between meals, but only when I’m hungry, as a way of keeping myself from eating mindlessly and consuming more than I need.

Sprint Results

Epics

Sprint 14 Review – Aftershocks

July 16th through July 23rd

Retrospective

This week was the funeral. My dad wanted a Celebration of Life, and that’s what we gave him, a great party. I had too much to drink…

I spoke his eulogy, attached.

Eulogy

I have worked on what to say since it became clear that Dad wasn’t going to beat this. This wasn’t surrender, but my way of dealing with the way things were.

I want to speak to what a great American he was, for he truly was. He loved this country and was a true patriot. He spent much of his military career in vaults and secure spaces, 100% the Cold Warrior. When duty called to Vietnam, he went and experienced a hot war.

After his military career, he spent years as a civilian still fighting the Cold War for his country. I think it’s safe to say that he made each of us, each American, safer through his work.

It was, and remains, an honor to be his son.

Papa was great friend, and if you were Jim Moseley’s friend, you were blessed. When you talked to him, you had his complete attention. He was the most active listener I’ve ever known, and his mind, his memory, was razor sharp to the end. If he’d met you once, the next time you saw each other he would remember your name, where you met, and other things about you.

If you were his friend, and I was, you knew it was a privilege of be his friend.

Finally, I want to speak to being a member of his family. He was a man who truly and enthusiastically loved his family. He loved to spend time with us, and enjoyed the mayhem and hubbub that came from being surrounded by the Moseley clan.

As his son, the only son of the only son, surrounded by sisters, I have the conceit that our relationship was special, though in reality all relationships are special and unique. Before Judi and I moved to Arizona, he and I would golf every weekend he was here, and my mom and Judi would drive us around. We vacationed together, ate together, watched TV together… you get the picture.

When Judi and I moved to Arizona four years ago, I called him after a particularly rough stretch at a new job. The job wasn’t what I was sold, and I was ready to throw in the towel and come home. His advice was to stick it out; that although he wanted us back here badly, I had to give this a shot, for otherwise I’d always wonder if I could have done it. He was willing to sacrifice the time for my betterment. He shipped golf clubs to Arizona and, when my parents visited, we golfed there.

That’s who he was.

It was nice being a member of his family. It was nice being his friend and his son, and having him, my papa, my pops, my father.

I just wish it could have been nice a bit longer.

Summary

This has been a horrible month, between open heart surgery and the death of my hero; my dad. I will say that this revealed how many friends I have, as I’ve received a lot of support.

I miss him.

Regardless, I have to continue to recover from surgery. I see my surgeon on August 1st, and will hopefully be deemed “recovered.”

Sprint 13 Review – Goodbye Dad

July 9th through July 16th

Retrospective

My dad passed away on Wednesday. He’d been fighting cancer for two years, and lost the battle.

Two days before he passed away, I was called over to help calm him down. He was hallucinating and talking to his father, who passed away long ago. My dad said that he wanted to go home.

I told him it was OK to go home, to go to his parents, if he wanted to.

Two days later, he joined them.

My dad was in unbearable pain for most of a year, fighting every day. This is a mercy, for he is released from this pain.

Of everyone I’ve ever known, he deserved it the least. He is (was?) literally my hero, my mentor, my friend…

I miss him every day.