Sunday, September 2, 2012

Anniversary of Dad's Death

Today marks my Dad's death just two days after my 16th birthday 41 years ago.

Today I want to record all the wonderful principles and lessons I learned from my Dad.

Work hard and do your best
Learn to do it yourself
Expect a lot
Go to church
When you have a calling, be committed
Be honest
Read, Read, Read
Get a good education. Get a degree
A B isn't good enough
Whatever you commit to, do it well
Be self reliant
Save and don't get into debt
Don't borrow
Volunteer in your community
Learn as much as you can about as many things as you can
Develop talents (or in my case, try and find some)
Get mad at refs if they make a bad call
Sports is everything (I have family members that have carried that torch)
Have lots of books and a study with desks to encourage learning
Have lots of fun things to do at home
Make the home a place that the boy's friends will gather and where the youngest sister will learn how to nag
Shut the cupboards after yourself (he taught it, I have yet to practice it)
Make family your highest priority
Vacation together and make wonderful memories
Keep a clean home and yard
Never, ever litter
No matter what presidential candidate you voted for, respect the president
Get up early (I still practice this and this habit has served me well)
Stay active and physically fit
Don't eat a lot of sweets
Don't waste time
Take good care of your health
Apologize when necessary
Love unconditionally

Because I know he wants me to learn even from his bad example in addition to the good example as I want my children to learn from mine, here are some things that I want to do differently from my Dad and that I know he expects me to improve upon.

I want to relax more and enjoy life. I believe my Dad's early death from cancer could have been accelerated by his stressful, uptight and perfectionistic personality.

I don't want to be a workaholic. I realize that my Dad died before he had a chance to reach an age when you automatically realize that you don't want to work so hard and you don't have as much to prove.

I want to be silly sometimes. He once told me not to be so silly, but I know he feels differently now.

I want to live a long life so I can enjoy my grand and great-grand children because I feel bad that he didn't get that privilege. He died a month before his first grandchild was born.

I want to be emotionally connected to my family. Times were different then and with a focus on achievement rather than feelings, sometimes we didn't connect in ways that I now want to connect with my children and grandchildren.

I want to praise more and criticize a whole lot less and focus on what is done right instead of what is wrong. I want to be more optimistic. 

I love my Dad. Forty years is a long time to be separated, but I am grateful for those moments when I know he is with me and the ultimate promise to be together again forever.


Riley said...

Love hearing about him. thanks aunt Tanya. Riley

gramma debbie said...

It is fun to hear about him!! Thanks!!

Meg Naisbitt said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. It is nice you can articulate so many things forty years later. Thank you for sharing!