In honor of Father’s Day, I want to share with you some lessons I learned from my dad:
There are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet.
Dad could go almost anywhere, introduce himself to folks, and, within minutes, be well on the way to friendship. He loved to go golfing alone so that he could join in to make a foursome and meet new people. He knew all of his neighbors. He got along with pretty much anyone, across age and gender, because he never spoke down to people, treated them with respect, and was genuinely interested in what they had to say. He knew how to listen.
Carpe diem and don’t sweat the small stuff.
My parents loved to travel. Once they went on a cruise leaving from Copenhagen. The airline lost their luggage, and they weren’t sure if it would arrive in time to catch the ship. Then dad’s wallet was stolen. At this point, many people would have canceled the trip, sorted out travel arrangements and gone home, but not my parents. They got on the ship, went to a formal dinner in sweatpants and t-shirts they bought in the gift shop, and had a blast. (And, yes, their luggage did eventually show up.)
Life is filled with laughter and joy, it’s all in the way you look at things.
My father’s laugh could fill a room with smiles. He could have fun doing almost anything, and in doing so made life fun for those around him.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well and treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
Later in his life, dad worked in customer service. He didn’t do it because he had to, he did it because he wanted to. Nothing made him happier than fixing people’s problems, and he would often go far above and beyond what was necessary to fix a situation and to make things right. When he was at work, he was 100% focused on doing the best job that he was capable of doing. When he was at home, his focus was 100% on his family and friends. How many of us can say the same?
I learned a lot of other life lessons from dad, but I’ll stop here for now.
Dad died suddenly in 2006, one year shy of his 60th birthday, and I know that I’ll miss him for the rest of my life.
I like to think he’s off adventuring on a cruise ship, drinking a Guinness and listening to Jimmy Buffett.
Wherever he is, I know he’s having a great time and making things fun for those around him.
Happy Father’s Day, big guy.
He had the gift
of stopping time
& listening well
so that it was easy
to hear who
we could become
& that was the future
he held safe
for each of us
in his great heart
you may ask, what now?
& I hope you understand
when we speak softly
& do not answer
for our future
is no longer the same