Horrible news here in Minnesota today as JP Parise passed away after a valiant battle with lung cancer for the last year.
For the Wild, this is the second father of a star player to pass away, with Bob Suter dying of a sudden heart attack in September.
While the hockey community mourns the loss of this legend, there are a few things that we can take away from Parise’s life and death.
I believe that one of the things JP had to be most proud of was his son Zach. Having worked with the Wild players for 3 seasons, one of the nicest guys you could come across was Zach. As a guy who is making 13 million a year and being a local celebrity, you would expect him to have a bit of an attitude. But he was always willing to talk to the media, regardless of who they were, and has the patience of a saint. I’ve seen him upset once off the ice, and that was when he felt a national media personality was being disrespectful to a member of the local media. This speaks volumes of how Zach was raised.
The biggest thing to take away from JP’s death is that you can’t take things for granted. JP lived less than a year after his diagnosis. But it really seems like JP spent that time living. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune has done a number of great articles about JP and Zach that really show this. Please check them out here, here and here.
To honor JP’s life, I strongly encourage everyone to take a few minutes and reflect on how they can be a better person and how they can live a better life. Be kind to people, even if they can’t better your position in life. Even if they’re mean back to you. Take that vacation you’ve been meaning to take. Call your loved ones and tell them just how much you care. And then SHOW them how much you care.
Spend time thinking about how you can the things in your life that are negative, and make them positive. Hate your job? Try to find one positive thing every day about your experience. Smile often, laugh hard, and try to keep that sparkle in your eye. Let people who are full of negative comments worry about themselves, and just ignore them.
Don’t live your life by saying “I’m going to do this”. Live it by actually doing it.