Let’s continue the dialogue on difference makers. My Dad is the hardest working man I have ever known. Many a weekday passed when my Dad left for work before I got up and came home after I had gone to bed. He was trying to make a way for our family. I know some people say he had his priorities wrong, etc. This was his story- there were 4 kids and my Mom stayed home to take care of what Dad believed was vital- his family and our needs. Dad never had a chance to go to college and I remember him telling me that college opened doors and also that, “His son would not make the same mistake”. So, college wasn’t really a decision I need to spend time on – I was going!
Sometimes I would go to work with my Dad (as a teenager) and watch him run a small printing company, Ad Design, in Washington, DC.. I loved watching my Dad lead and he would often put me to work. He saw work as a virtue and reminded me that although he couldn’t always be the smartest guy in the room (I thought he was), he could be the hardest worker. It was this “never quit, never say die” attitude that he gave me and I am so grateful.
My Dad taught me to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Every adult was called sir or ma’am. And my Mom was to be respected above what most people would consider necessary. Dad would not allow the kids to call Mom “she” or “her” – that term was for someone down the street. I had 2 other brothers and my Dad understood how a boy needed to respect his Mom and how that would translate into respecting his own wife. Although my dad never read a book on parenting – he had a good handle on several things. Sure Dad missed it some, no doubt – and yet I find myself responding and thinking – that is something Dad would say or do.
I miss him in huge ways (he died in 2000) and wish he had a chance to see his kids and grandkids today. I am also sure he would have found a way to play the trap set in our band. Thank you God for my Dad and the influence he has in my life. How about you? Have a story you want to share?