Many people think this blog is more about me than it is.

Most of the time, I am writing about 25% of my life, carefully chosen parts even. I figure my name and business are on this publication and there is a certain level of formality I keep in the interest of clients and potential clients reading it. There is personality behind things certainly but I bet if you think of more controversial topics, you’ll notice they aren’t on the Breaking Even blog.

In addition to self protection, I also feel that the topics I cover (saving money, business, marketing) are a bit more interesting to my audience than a blog about all things Nicole Ouellette would be. (I mean, I’m not Oprah!)

But it’s hard to ignore this date and what it means personally. So I won’t.

Two years ago, my life changed when my father unexpectedly drowned.

Dad was a sensitive dude with a sick sense of humor and the ability to put anyone at ease.

Ironically, it was one of those beautiful crisp fall days that seemed really perfect… until I called my mother. She hadn’t heard from my father who was due to return home from camp. It was unlike him not to at least call on the way. She told me she’d call me back when she knew more, and had sent a couple of his friends out looking for him to see if he got a flat tire or something like that on his way out of the Maine woods.

I remember I had rented the first season of ‘Weeds’ and as episode after episode went by without the phone ringing, it became increasingly apparent that something was wrong. Finally at 9:30 that night, I called and heard my sister sobbing. My family waited until I walked into the house at 2:30 am but I knew what had happened the whole five hour drive back to my hometown.

I later figured out the moment everything happened (thanks to a time stamp) that I was blogging. I remember I was writing a post about winterizing a house when I looked outside and thought about how lucky I was to be writing at my little desk on this new blog I was excited to finally start. I now wonder about that moment, and why I noticed it.

A couple months later, I had a very vivid dream about my father. We were sitting at a banquet table, like we were setting up for my sister’s wedding that had happened the year before. We were just talking like we always did when he asked me to dance, “Since I won’t be able to be there for your wedding.” And so we did until I woke up. I kept wanting to have another dream like that months later.

During a transitional period the year after, I had a recurring dream that I was drowning and no one was rescuing me. I had it for almost two weeks straight when I finally sat up one morning and said (out loud even), “I need to rescue myself.” And I never had the dream again.

It could be a string of coincidences but as I told an atheist friend once, I have to think there is something after this life, or else I can’t wake up every morning and do what I need to do. I need to think that someday, I might have even the smallest chance to talk to my father again.

So I like to think my father shows up in weird ways when I need him to. To point out moments I wouldn’t otherwise notice. To comfort me with a memory. Or to help me realize what I need to do in my life when I seem to get off track.

Other then this post, I am going to go about my day as I normally would. Because I think about my father every day anyway and this is another day in that regard. I can’t believe emotionally how much better I feel and I also can’t believe how far I have still to go.

I am remembering a great man today, and hope you are doing the same.

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