The Top 10 Things I learned from my Dad.
1. Respect my Mom. Growing up I knew that I might get away with an occasional jab at my Dad, but never with my Mom! All things came to a quick halt if we ever disrespected our Mother in front of him. This greatly affects how I treat my own wife. I would do anything for her, and protect her at all costs. Thank you Dad.
2. Work hard. To this day, I have not seen another human being put as much effort into all that he does. While we were building a fence together, I remember him saying “Just make sure you are proud of what you do by the end of today.” He also told each of us 9 kids that he would “support us in whatever we chose to do in life, just be the best at it.” Both of these can be applied to each and every day of my life. Thank you Dad.
3. Be Brave and Have Fun! No one could make a bigger splash in the river than my Dad! (Or the local YMCA pool for that matter.) His version of the cannon ball was unbeatable. At the beach or the mountains he would always be the first to try something, and then we kids would follow. I see a passion for fun and a love for God’s creation in my own 3 boys now. Thank you Dad.
4. Stand up for what is right. “We believe in Marriage!” was on a 40 foot banner on the roof of our house for the good part of a year. It even put our family on the local TV station. I still remember my Dad writing letters to my Mom daily for many years. They even lead weekend retreats to help other couples find what they have. I took my wife on one of these retreats when we first got married. I have not yet, but I see the importance of starting the letter writing. Thank you Dad.
5. Family First. Dinner is at 6pm sharp. I could do a 4 minute mile on my skateboard if I was still playing at my friend’s house at 5:55pm. Our family sat at the table together at least twice a day. It was where all of the important things at our house happened. We started with prayer and ended by clearing our own plates. It made our lives simple and meaningful all at once. Thank you Dad.
6. Be Generous. If my Dad knows you need something, it’s as good as done. This did not always involve buying something, but rather giving of his time. My dad has done more fundraisers than Jerry Lewis, and moved almost as many families as UHAUL. I still learn from him as he gives up most of his “Free” time to causes he sees more worthy. Thank you Dad.
7. Leave everything better than you found it. From campsites to jobsites, we could not leave until every piece of trash was picked up – even the bottle caps and cigarette butts from the people before us. It might have seemed silly to us at the time, but applying this to other areas has opened many wonderful doors for all of us. Thank you Dad.
8. Pray. God is the only guy I know that can make my Dad cry. It happens almost every Sunday when he watches his kids and grandkids come back from communion. My Dad’s body can not do everything that it used to because of his arthritis, but his Spirit is now benching over 500 pounds. You have taught us that real men cry. Thank you Dad.
9. Be Honest. Even when it’s hard – ESPECIALLY when it’s hard. For my Dad, this goes way beyond always simply telling the truth. I have watched my Dad make things right even if people would have never known the difference. I have a long ways to go before I reach my Dad’s level of integrity, but I am working on it. Thank you Dad.
10. Have Heroes – and let them know. My Dad’s hero is my Grandpa Joe. Anyone in our family knows that because he often tells him this in front of us all at our family get-togethers. This has a great affect on our Family as it points out the gifts of the people around us that we know we can trust and follow. Thank You, Thank You, Thank you Dad….
With ALL my heart, Happy Father’s Day,
Your son, Charlie