Growing up, my dad worked two jobs so that my brother, sister, mother, and I would never have to want for anything. We lived in a nice home in a fantastic neighborhood; and I left for college with a huge appreciation for my father’s sound work ethic and his fierce dedication to family.
My dad’s incredible sense of humor, charm, and inherent likability has made him quite popular in our small beach town of Wilmington, NC. He lives there happily retired – with a friend, seemingly, on every corner.
My husband and I tease my father often, having given him the title of The Unofficial Black Mayor of Wilmington. When we call him that, he laughs and tells us we’re being silly; but we’re almost certain that if he were to run for office he’d win hands down. That’s just how great his personality is.
When my mother passed away a year and a half ago the community surrounded my father with love – offering up more food, hugs, and condolences than we could handle. In those moments, it was confirmed for me that I wanted nothing more than to be just like my dad whenever I grew up… whenever that will be. 😉
Soon after my mother passed I made a list of all of the wonderful things she tried her best to teach me while she was here. It came from my heart; and not a day goes by that I don’t wish that she were still here to read it. Given that fact, I wanted to take a moment and make a list of some of the things my father has taught me. I wanted to give him the opportunity to read it and appreciate it.
Below you’ll find 11 of what I feel are the most important things. Some may seem trivial, but the impression that some of these small tidbits have left upon me is indelible. I hope more than anything that I can pass at least a few of these nuggets on to my own children.
All of your hard work hasn’t been for naught daddy. You’ve taught me plenty over the years; and this is just a small list compiled in order to show you two things: that I was watching, and that I was listening. 🙂
- Have a sense of humor about everything. It’ll get you through those tough times.
- Set your watch ahead five minutes and live by the mantra that early is on time, and on time is late. (He was a military man.)
- Your word is all you have. Keep it.
- Work hard, and pay your bills on time. Your diligence will pay off.
- Like having company? Be a good host! Clean your house. Offer a beverage. Your guest will never forget it.
- Don’t half-ass anything. If you’re going to commit to doing something. Go all in.
- Take pride in your appearance.
- Take pride in your home.
- Making and flying a kite is simple and gratifying. All you need is a little nylon, some thin fabric, a couple of sticks, and a windy day.
- Let a man be a man. Never say or do anything to emasculate the man you love.
- And ultimately, my dad taught me how a woman is supposed to be treated. And I can’t thank him enough for that one.
What sort of life lessons has your dad taught you? Share in the comments below, and show some “just because” love to your dad!