Some of you might have already heard, I lost my dad recently. July 12th, to be exact, the day after his 94th birthday. Although he’d been sick off and on for about a year, Dad loved life and hated to let it go. We were fortunate to be at his bedside when his body finally said, “Sorry, old buddy, like it or not, we’ve gotta go.” His passing was peaceful and quick, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.
Dad was an extraordinary man. I say that not just because I’m his daughter but because of the effect he had on everyone he met. It didn’t matter if it was a man, woman, or child, when someone left Dad’s company, they left laughing, smiling, or more confident in themselves and/or the challenges they faced. Without question, the legacy he left behind was his life and how he lived it.
Through example, Dad taught us—
— You can achieve anything in life if you’re willing to work hard enough to get it.
— You learn a thousand times more by listening than you do from talking.
— Say what you mean and mean what you say and always look a person in the eye when you do it.
— Physical pain is just a road block in life. It’s not an impenetrable wall.
–Don’t take yourself or life too seriously–it’ll all change tomorrow anyway.
–It’s a guarantee that stuff will come about in life and knock you down, but the only thing that can keep you down is you.
–Success in life has little to do with material things. Real success is living life on your own terms.
–Life might have rules, but that doesn’t mean you have to live those rules just like everybody else.
–Stay true to yourself no matter how unconventional that may appear to the rest of the world.
–If you make a mistake, don’t keep beating yourself up over it–learn from the damn thing and move on.
–Self pity is a useless emotion that’s not worth your time.
–The cheapest thing in life is an excuse.
–Offer advice only when asked. Otherwise you’ll wind up only talking to hear yourself talk.
–Patience doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for life to toss something good your way–unless you’re sitting in a deer stand! Patience is really a synonym for tenacity–being patient with yourself whenever you have to push past something that feels immovable, knowing one way or another, you WILL get through it.
–Loving family doesn’t mean loving them only when they conform to your way of thinking. It means loving them for who, and sometimes in spite of who, they are.
There were truly so many wonderful things to learn from this remarkable man’s life. My only regret is not having asked Dad for one last piece of advice– How does a daughter move on once her hero is gone?
I guess I’ll have to figure that one out on my own. And I have a feeling that as difficult as some of life’s lessons have been so far, this one may be the toughest of all.