Happy day after Father’s Day.
Everyone comes into this world with a different agenda to fulfill. Mine was quite different than my father’s. In fact, it was so different it took me a long time to appreciate my father’s mission and passions in life… taking care of his family.
He was very creative. He was a hard worker. His primary passion was to take care of his brothers and sisters and my mother’s family. I am an only child, but I was always surrounded by cousins, aunts and uncles.
Because of the frequent family gatherings, I never felt lonely or alone. I felt very blessed.
When my parents bought their house, they purchased a home adjoining the property of two of my Dad’s sisters. They had built a small house on their property to accommodate my grandfather. My dad in turn built a house on his property for another one of his sisters and her family. It was truly a community experience.
I came into this world with tremendous ambition to be successful. My idea of success hampered my ability to recognize and appreciate my Dad’s focus in life. Family has always been very important to me. However, as a young adult my idea of success was achieving career recognitions, promotions, and meeting monetary goals.
It took years for me to realize the influence my father had on me. It was when I was offered a promotion and I declined it. This promotion would have required me to move around the country. My parents and Jeanne’s parents were getting to an age that we realized it would not be a good idea for us to move out of the city. This was not an easy decision at the time. I was told I would not be offered such an opportunity again and this decision could affect future raises. I never regretted my decision and am so grateful I had the courage and fortitude to listen to my heart as well as my head. Ironically, management changed in the company and my career was not hampered by that decision.
My Father’s gift to me lives on particularly in my retirement years as the blessings of our children and grandchildren surround us every day. The celebrations with family are the most meaningful events throughout the year.
The lesson for me as a grandparent, as a husband, and a friend is to fully embrace the value of family in good times and challenging times. Strong family ties strengthen us to go forth into the world and be the best person we can be. I am grateful to my Dad for his devotion to family. He was a simple, humble man and certainly not a “high achiever.” Yet I am convinced he had a very definite influence on making the world a better place.