Gaining Perspective


Terry Nelson, Northeast Speech Instructor-Director of Forensics

I miss my dad.

A few years ago, he got in a fight with melanoma – and melanoma won. Having grown up with four brothers and a mother that was more marine sergeant than nurturer, my dad felt uncomfortable when it came to women – especially when tears entered the picture. Dad was definitely not a warm-and-fuzzy guy, and sometimes his words would hurt us kids – rubbing like sandpaper to a wound. But in spite of his faults, I am grateful my dad took the time to invest in me. And I could always count on Dad to impart snippets of wisdom. After Brett Favre threw an interception that resulted in the Vikings NFC championship loss in 2010, I called my Dad in tears. My emotional involvement in the game had escalated to a new level that season – what a year for the Vikings! A seasoned, much wiser Vikings fan, Dad reminded me: “Terry, it’s just a game.” In the moment, his wise words were literal, but Dad’s words have echoed in my mind a thousand times since. An unexpected bill. A dent in the car. Dirty dishes piled high in the sink. A patch of dead grass in the lawn.

“Terry, it’s just a game.”

Dad’s words are true beyond the world of football – they serve as a reminder that the bumps in life are temporary. Hurts heal, problems pass. From Favre’s football failure to day-to-day difficulties, life’s too short to worry.

Thanks, Dad.