Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lessons From Dad

My first dad has played a special part in my life.  And my husband has been an amazing father to our ten kids.  

On Father's Day, I'm especially thinking about my second dad who passed away three years ago.  He was technically my step-dad, but in my heart he was my adoptive father.  He was so full of life and love. He always had TIME and an interest in our lives.  The one part that makes the loss easier is knowing he and Joe are together in heaven.  I know they are laughing, having ice cream, and talking sports.  

In honor of Father's Day, I thought you would enjoy reading something my sisters and I put together for our dad's funeral.  Lessons that still speak clearly in our lives. 

Top 10 Lessons We Learned From Our Dad

10.  Education Opens the Door to Opportunity.  Study hard, apply yourself, and always be interested in learning something new. 

9.  Actions Speak Louder than Words.  Most of the lessons we learned from our dad came through watching his example: make good decisions, be honest, work hard, show compassion, be kind, laugh, forgive, persevere, help people without being asked, and don’t sweat the small stuff. 

8. It’ll Fit!  You may not think that 10 cubic yards of luggage, fishing gear, college dorm supplies, or hunting stuff can fit into a car that has 2 cubic yards of cargo space.  But Dad always said, “It’ll fit!” and somehow, after he worked it like a 3-D puzzle, it did.

7.  You Don’t Have to be the Best at Something to Enjoy it.  Life was about enjoying the moment and being active with the people you loved.  Dad enjoyed many sports and wasn’t afraid to try something new: tennis, hiking, boating, fishing, golfing, skiing, water sports, mountain biking, white water rafting, and even sledding at the age of 75!

6.  Don’t Focus on the Problem; Focus on the Solution. Amidst any calamity, like a broken down motor home, while everyone was grousing about what had happened, Dad was three steps ahead.  He would calmly think about how to remedy the situation, what actions needed to be taken, and which phone calls needed to be made.   

5.  Don’t Waste Food and Don’t Waste Money.  Okay, we will admit it… some daughters have learned this lesson better than others!

4.  Make the Most of Every Day.  At the end of the day Mom and Dad wanted to be able to say they had accomplished something and appreciated the day. They made the most of every day, even if that just meant going out to breakfast, hitting a garage sale to find something for the cabin, or going on a drive to appreciate nature.

3.  Believe in Yourself!  Dad always said we could do anything we set our minds to including building a treehouse, returning to college, driving cross-country with a van of kids (and 8 months pregnant!), painting the exterior of a house, or building a cabin.  (And he said this even before we had You Tube videos to show us how!)  If we decided we needed his help (usually mid-project), he was always there to help! 

2.  LOVE is Thicker than Water.  Dad had his own version of the famous saying “blood is thicker than water.” For Dad it was LOVE.  Whether you joined Dad’s family via marriage, adoption, or birth you were his.  Dad never hesitated to say “I love you!” and “Your Mom and I are proud of you!”

1.  Some Men Really DO Have Superhero Vision.  You may not think so, but it really is possible to spot a coyote hiding in the grass up on the ridge, 3 miles down the road, while simultaneously driving 75-miles-per hour on the Interstate. 

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