He spent so much time trying to make sure that he worked to keep his family happy but then he missed out on the most important thing - his family.
In our race to give our children a better life, we end up working harder so that we can provide them with everything they want and need. However, in that constant running around at work to do that, we end up forgetting to actually spend time with the little ones we're working so hard for. And then when something important comes up regarding them, we start to regret not having been with them.
And that is what this "workaholic" father experienced; only in his case, he can never spend any more time with his son. J.R Storment, a busy man who hadn’t taken more than a week off in eight years, was on a conference call when he found out that his eight-year-old son, Wiley, had passed away.
His son was found dead by his mother, Dr. Jessica Brandes, after he suffered a rare complication of mild childhood epilepsy, reported Metro UK.
J.R, who went to work without checking on his boys that morning, then penned an emotional, heartfelt letter to parents reminding them to spend more time with their family. The executive, who founded the US-based cost management system Cloudability in 2011, says the death of his son was a wakeup call that so many people's work-life balance is not what it should be like, according to Mirror UK.
J.R. spent two years living with his family in London and wrote an essay on LinkedIn reminding parents to "hug your kids" and "don’t work too late".
In his essay, he wrote, "Eight years ago, during the same month, I had twin boys and co-founded Cloudability. About three months ago Cloudability was acquired. About three weeks ago we lost one of our boys."
"When I got the call I was sitting in a conference room with 12 people at our Portland office talking about PTO policies. Minutes earlier, I had admitted to the group that in the last 8 years I’d not taken more than a continuous week off."
"My wife and I have an agreement that when one of us calls, the other answers. So when the phone rang I stood up and walked to the conference room door immediately."
"I was still walking through the door when I answered with 'Hey, what’s up?'"
"Her reply was icy and immediate: 'J.R., Wiley is dead.'"
"'What?' I responded incredulously."
“'Wiley has died.' she reiterated."
"'What?! No.' I yelled out, 'No!'"
"I’m so sorry, I have to call 911."
"That was the entire conversation. The next thing I know I’m sprinting out the front door of the office with my car keys in hand, running ferociously across the street and muttering 'oh F***. oh F***. oh F***.' Halfway down the block I realize I don’t have the opener to my parking garage. Running back into the lobby, I all but shout 'Someone drive me! Somebody drive me!' Thankfully, a helpful colleague did."
"By the time I got home twelve minutes later, our cul-de-sac was packed with emergency vehicles. I sprinted through our open front door and ran straight towards the bedroom that the boys share. One of a half-dozen police officers there stepped in front of me blocking the way. When a child dies suddenly, it becomes a potential crime scene."
"It was 2.5 painful hours before I could see my boy. After an hour of waiting in shock out front, I told the armed police officers guarding the doors that I couldn’t wait any longer. They allowed me to go out to the deck facing the kid's room to peer through the sliding glass window. He lay in his bed, covers neatly on, looking peacefully asleep. I put my hand on the glass and lost it."
"When the medical examiner finally finished his work, we were allowed in the room. An eerie calm came over me. I laid down next to him in the bed that he loved, held his hand and kept repeating, 'What happened, buddy? What happened?'"
"We stayed next to him for maybe 30 minutes and stroked his hair before they returned with a gurney to take him away. I walked him out, holding his hand and his forehead through the body bag as he was wheeled down our driveway. Then all the cars drove away. The last one to leave was the black minivan with Wiley in it."
Parents, if this isn't a reminder, I don't know what is. Life is short and when it comes to our children, we have to remember that we only have them for so long in our lives before they grow up and move on. You need your kids just as much as they need you. Never give work the upper hand."
Rest in peace, Wiley.