Daily Dom

Jan 2, 2015 by

“I hear my dad saying right now, ‘Jorda, please don’t swear in my eulogy, don’t say like too much, please keep good posture, and you’re wearing too much perfume.’”

– Jordana Bauco


          Sadly, last Friday, Domenic Bauco passed away at age 46 due to cancer. Dom was always one of my family favourites. Given that I’m not family-oriented, that statement speaks volumes of my respect for his character. People always speak highly of the dead. It’s taboo to paint a realistic picture, one that includes flaws. But Dom didn’t become an admirable man in passing. He always was. His eldest daughter, Jordana, described him perfectly in his eulogy on Wednesday morning. She used many beautiful adjectives, all of which were applicable, but the two that stood out most for me as typical Domenic were charming and ambitious.

          Dom had a natural ability to make you feel important, like everything you said was worth listening to. I remember talking to him while eating peanuts at the cottage kitchen table summer after summer. Speaking of, my favourite part of his eulogy was when Jordana said, “He used to bring me and my sister, Ava, to Harvey’s every few weeks to talk to us about RESPs and investing at ages 10 and 12.” That line was the essence of Dom. I remember him talking to me about that stuff when I was a kid. (Side note: That’s how I’m going to do it, that’s how I’m going to trick my hypothetical children into learning about personal finance: lure them with food.) Regardless of my age or the topic of conversation, Dom made me feel like an adult by absorbing and responding to my words with interest. He exuded interest no matter whom he was speaking to. Most notably, his interest was genuine. Many people are charming. Dom was sincerely charming.

          I looked up to Dom without realizing it. It was never a conscious thought; it just was. Thinking about it now, he’s probably the reason why anytime someone I know gets licensed in real estate, I automatically foresee success. I associate real estate with Dom, and I associate Dom with achievement – not simply because he was career-driven, but because his marriage and family were things to aspire to and his life was a happy one. I have been told an annoying amount of times that my expectations of romantic relationships are too high. If you knew Dom with Rose, your standards would be up there with mine. Lots of people are married; Dom and Rose were in love. And they along with their girls, Jordana and Ava, were a team. You could see it in the esteem and respect in which the four of them held each other.

          To illustrate the man her father was, in his eulogy, Jordana shared that he had an “affirmation” reminder in his phone that went off every morning at 7 am. I laughed to myself when I heard this, because Dom would have a daily “affirmation” reminder in his phone. What demonstrated his character further was the content of that affirmation. It was not a statement used to assure himself that he was [insert fluffy adjectives here]. It was action-oriented. It was a statement of specifically what he would do each day to be the person he wanted to be. It read as follows:

          I must make a firm commitment throughout my day to acknowledge the many blessings God has shown me. God will guide me, and continues to show his presence in my life. In doing so, I will not be exposed to risk of error in judgement, for which I am all too often fearful of.
          I will treat my wife, my children, my friends, and my colleagues in a manner that I wish to be treated. My success will not be measured by how much money I earn, but by how I care for and honour all the great relations around me. I will not deviate from my core values, for when I do, it’s fear setting in and I will respond with silence, calmness, and a prayer to show gratitude for all my blessings.
          I will learn the lesson of being in joy and gratitude ALWAYS, and that what we have is enough to be in a joyful place at all times while always striving to achieve growth, yet recognizing and appreciating now.
          I will, with God’s hand, clear cancer from my body through help of chemo, proper diet, proper thoughts, holistic remedy, and in doing so rejuvenate new, healthy cells.

          Affirmations are known to produce positive effects, as per the “you are what you think” mentality, yet I’ve never personally had a daily affirmation. Most affirmation suggestions I’ve read begin with “I am”: “I am beautiful,” “I am confident,” “I am . . .” While I see the benefits of such statements, I already know who I am. Dom showed that an affirmation isn’t necessarily a self-declaration. Rather, it can be a regular reminder to act like the person you choose to be. Inspired, today I wrote my own action-oriented affirmation, using Dom’s as my guide, and set a daily “affirmation” reminder in my phone. It’s the piece of him I’m taking with me.

          To Rose, Jordana, and Ava, I cannot tell you enough times how sorry I am for your loss. You beautiful ladies are some of the most positive people I’ve ever known in my life. I am beyond confident in your resilience.

          To Dom, thank you for your inspiration. When I think of you, we will forever be talking personal finance while shelling peanuts at the cottage in my mind.

Happiness Tip: Have an action-oriented daily affirmation.

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