I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a talk my dad and I had oh about ten years ago. Maybe more … I think it was before the dot com bust, but I can’t quite remember.
Anyway, he was basically telling me about how the stock market was a good investment and that even after the Crash of 1929, stocks eventually rebounded. His point was that over the long term owning stock pays off.
I took his point to heart. For years, I carried as an article of faith that investing in the stock market is a safe bet. And it wasn’t until years later, and several years after his death, that I started to see the other side, the one that my father didn’t share. That yes, if you have at least thirty to forty years, sure the stock market is a safe bet, but those fifty year olds who saw their 401(k)s dive in 2008, well, they might retire before the stock market fully recoups.
It’s little things like this that make me miss my dad, and make me wish he was here. So I could ask him things about the financial crisis, or whether he thought Obama caved in the debt ceiling debate. So I could ask him questions about filing my taxes, or whether or not he likes Modern Family or the last Harry Potter book.
Sure, the big things are tough … the Thanksgivings, the birthdays, the Christmases, my wedding, I imagine will be incredibly tough.
But it’s also really the little things, and sometimes the little things make me even sadder. It’s hard to completely and totally accept the finality of death … you play games with yourself thinking, “Oh, he would have loved this,” or “Oh he would have thought this.” But really, the truth is, I don’t know. I can’t know.