Today is Fathers Day and I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad this week. As I thought through many good memories and stories, I began to think about the things that I learned most from him. Of the many that I could think of, here are my top five.
1. Hard Work
Even the earliest memories I have of my dad include him working in some aspect. When I was very young he started his own business and would work days and nights to get it off the ground. The business eventually grew to handle some of the largest businesses in Birmingham as customers. The business offered 24 hour service, and there were plenty of times he would have to follow through on that advertisement. When his work day was through you could find him at home working on home improvement projects, taking care of our home, and lots of other things he had his hands in.
My dad was a “wheeler-dealer.” He knew how to negotiate a deal. The very first vehicle I purchased on my own he helped me do the negotiating. After 7 hours at one car lot with one salesman, I purchased a vehicle at a $7,000 discount. I picked up on these skills and he always said jokingly that I would end as either a crook or a crooked preacher. He, nor I, ever pay full price.
3. People Skills
My dad always had a way with people. He loved to talk and could connect with just about anyone. He never met a stranger. I can remember as a kid my mom getting so mad because my he had just gone to the store to pick something up, only to return two hours later to cold dinner because he was talking.
My mom worked hard right along side my dad, but she never learned to relax. So it was from my dad that I observed relaxing. At the end of each day he would sit and do something that he enjoyed. It could be as simple as watching TV or reading a hobby magazine, but he took at least a small amount of time to relax. He also kept hobbies to escape work. We enjoyed fishing together. He rode dirt bikes, motorcycles, dune buggies, restored cars, and more through the years.
5. Story Telling
Some of the best memories of have is listening to my dad tell stories. Many of these stories were told around the dinner table and would range from the moments of his earlier years to what had happened in that day. I can still hear his laughter after telling a good story, even if it had been told many times before.
It’s hard to miss someone that you have lost, but there is a great feeling of closeness once you realize the personal impact they made into the person that you have become. You can sense them with you through everything you do.
Thankful for a great dad.