“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
During Mother’s Day, I reached out to a handful of friends and asked them to contribute to my Blog. You can read that Here. The whole process was so enlightening and inspiring that I decided to do the same for Dads, but switch it up a bit.
On Friday, I shared This Post. It was a tribute to my own father. A man that I do not thank or appreciate enough. This morning I awoke, kissed my husband and told him “Happy Father’s Day,” opened Facebook and found out that one of my friends lost her husband last night. He a father, a great father, I witnessed him in action. My heart broke and the sudden heaviness on my chest seemed much more overwhelming as I sat and thought about his children who would awaken this morning without the earthly presence of their Dad. While I pray for them today and send positive thoughts out to the universe, I know so many of you too will read this Blog as a “fatherless child.”
I do not know your pain. I do not know the emptiness you feel. Whether it be a sudden loss, a father who has passed for many years, a father who is alive but you are estranged from, know that today while you pass the greeting card aisle, see a family out at breakfast, open Facebook to a flood of messages and pictures, know that I am thinking of you.
Those who are blessed to still have their Dad with them today, please call him, visit him or send him a text. Say “I love you,” say “I appreciate you” and please say “thank you.”
As a mother, I know the sacrifices and love I make for my child. Watching my husband with her, well the love and sacrifices he makes for our family is equally as tremendous. And, also as a parent, I finally feel like a fog is lifted from my eyes and I see just how much my parents have given through the years and how incredibly their love has been.
So today, Happy Father’s Day Friends and to my Blog contributors – Thank you.
I asked each friend below to answer the following:
“What is the best advice your Dad has given to you?”
The answers, well, you just have to read!
“When asked ‘What is the best advice your Dad has ever given you?’ I really didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t think of a time when my dad sat me down and said, ‘Here is some advice to live by.’ The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my dad has given me a lifetime of advice without saying a word. The whole, “actions speak louder than words” rings true. In my life, my dad has advised me to work hard for every single penny you have, that those same pennies mean nothing at the end of the day, to make good on your promises even when jumping ship feels like the easy way out, to be true to yourself and never apologize for that, to admit it when you are wrong, to always say you’re sorry, to never settle for ‘good enough,’ to always help those in need, and to laugh like heck every step of the journey. My Daddy has never had to give me any advice, I’ve always been blessed to watch his actions and simply know, this is how you live.” – Mallory
“My Dad gave advice by example. He would tell me to be kind, sensitive to others, generous and do what’s right. Of course, that’s how he lives his life. The best advice he gave my brother, ‘I don’t care if you want to dig ditches the rest of your life. Just be the best ditch digger you can be.’ And, I have to share two from my husband’s Dad, ‘Don’t ever get a financial advisor. If they know so much about money, they’d be retired.’ And, my favorite, on the occasion of our first date, ‘Just remember, pick your nose with your right hand and scratch your butt with your left.’ That man was a character.’ – Michaela
“My Dad and I are cut from the same cloth. The older I get, the more similarities I find. As you can see from the picture and our incredible sense of style, lol. My Dad is the most inspirational man on the planet. He dreams big, fights for what he believes in and never gives up. All while maintaining a big belly laugh that makes you feel at home every time you hear it. I call him the “Big Fish” because he reminds me so much of Dad from the movie, “The Big Fish.” The best advice he ever gave me, and there have been some gems, is that ‘Failure is not an option.’ Anytime I was afraid of making a leap of faith in life, love, or business he would just tell me to believe and that if I believe, I can’t fail, then anything is possible. He is 100% right. Anytime the “what if” worry trolls start to creep in I just repeat that phrase and know that I can overcome and find success. I love this man more everyday and feel honored to call him my Father, my mentor, and one of my best friends.” – Coty
“Okay, it was hard to choose what the best advice has been since all of his advice has helped to shape who I am but I’ll go with this. My Papa many times has said, ‘Live your life honestly, be true to those you love and always follow what it is that makes you who you are. (…and clean your room!).’ Ha! He’s our favorite storyteller, a forever friend, and our hero!” – Deanna
Look out there…
“My father was a large man. My mother referred to him as a ‘gentle giant.’ His large posture and huge hands had many young suitors of his daughter’s shaking in their shoes. I was the youngest of his five children and due to the large age gap from my closest sibling, quite possibly an “Oops!” I was; however, definitely daddy’s little girl. I remember my dad taking me kicking and screaming in his big, strong arms and walking me calmly into the Atlantic Ocean. He finally stopped waist deep and told me to stop crying and ‘look out there.’ I did and it was amazing. A few years later he took me on a Ferris Wheel. Once again, I was screaming because we were stuck at the top. He giggled softly and told me to take my hands away from my face and ‘look out there.’ I did and it was awesome. Fast forward to my teens and my father was teaching me to drive. Half way through the stressful lesson when all I did was stare at the road, he placed his hand on my shoulder and told me to ‘look out there.’ I did and it was easier. I didn’t realize it at the time but my father didn’t want me to live my life with my head down. He didn’t want me to be too scared, too serious or too focused. He wanted me to stop worrying and enjoy the people, places and experiences around me no matter how big or small. I still struggle to follow his advice in my busy life. I do find that I have missed a lot because I didn’t ‘look out there.’ But I will be forever grateful that he told me to ‘look out there’ and I hope I can pass this advice on to my children.” – Joy
“My Dad was an amazing, amazing man. I know many people will say this today, especially since its Father’s Day and I’m sure they mean it also, but anyone who knew my Dad will tell you this is absolutely true. I don’t know of one person that did not like him nor do I know of anyone that he disliked. I never heard him speak a harsh word about anyone. In my entire life I never saw him mad or angry. I don’t know of any other person I can say that about. He was so kind and compassionate. He chose to talk about the good in people. He had patience beyond words. He was never to busy for you. He gave you his undivided attention. I’ll tell you a little story about this. My Dad use to work on his vehicles in his garage. A little neighborhood boy whose father had died would come down to his house and for hours would lay on the ground with my Dad under his car asking questions. ‘What’s this? What’s that? What does this do? What does that do?’ On, and on. My Dad explained everything in great detail to him. My Mom would say to my Dad, ‘How can you stand that day after day? All those same questions?’ My Dad would reply, ‘It’s ok, Honey, he just needs someone to talk to. He’s just lonely.’ My Dad was a very funny guy also. He loved to play jokes on people. He loved to scare the living day lights out of you. I can still hear his laugh. He was a huge Washington Redskins fan. He loved picnics, amusement parks and especially riding the roller coasters. He loved going camping with his kids and grandkids. Sometimes spending the entire summer at the river with his family. Christmas was his favorite holiday. He was like a sorcerer working his magic. When we were kids the tree was never brought into the house until we were all in bed on Christmas Eve. By morning it looked like a mystical, magical farmland. The tree decorated from top to bottom and a Christmas yard under the tree that was so detailed it looked like a live village. There were houses, churches, stores and roads made from coal dust. A train that ran on a track (THIS ONE IS FOR YOU, ASHLI) a mirror for a pond. Still to this day, I don’t know how he got it all done in one night. He was a Veteran. He served in the Army during World War II. He was loyal. He kept the same friends he served in the war with his entire life. He was a honest, hard working man that never missed a day of work. He was a Christian and he put God and his family above everything. His parenting skills surpass all others. He taught us to love unconditionally and we learned this by following his example. Oh! By the way, he always smelled so good! I still have a bottle of his after shave lotion. Sometimes I open it up and just breath the scent of him in and at that moment I know he’s right here beside me. The one thing he taught me, and I learned this by his example, was to love unconditionally. I hope I have passed this down to my kids and grandkids. There is a song that says, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” If this was my Dad’s song, it would say “I’d like to teach the world to love in perfect harmony.” HAPPY FATHERS DAY DADDY! Love you!” – Pat (my Meema)
How beautiful? Again, thank you to my special Blog contributors. Much love to you! And, to you all, no matter where your heart feels today, I send you virtual hugs and love.