Life Lessons From My Father


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How he died does not diminish how he lived. You see, it seems small - maybe even painfully obvious - but it's something I've struggled to accept. And now I have. This is the story of how he lived and how I became the person I am today - girl and woman, yet still his "Rosebud," his affectionate moniker for my sister and me.

Even before I could walk, I learned determination and persistence from my father. Growing up with Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a rare genetic bone and muscular disorder, I had more than 26 surgeries by the time I was Hospitals and doctors' offices became a part of my family's life. My father saw to it that I never lost my spunk. He became my Superman. My legs. My window to the world. When I turned 3, I pressed my feet against the soft sand along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for the first time, seeing my red hair sputter in the wind and letting the cool water rush over my little feet.

It was my father who held me for hours just so I could giggle and splash. I can only imagine how sore this made him, but he never let on about the pain. Instead, he gave his classic chuckle as I splashed my hands and feet in the water. My father's persistence came in other forms, too - even in his attitude toward his own homework. Because of my medical needs, it took him 20 years to get his college degree.

And as he got older, it became harder and harder for him to stay awake and finish his homework. One of his hardest classes was calculus, and some nights I remember him sitting in the living room, the lamp on, his reading glasses perched on his nose and his books sprawled out in front of him. Then, after a bit, I'd start to hear snoring, and I'd hear my mom walk out to the living room. She'd find my father's head resting on his books, his eyes shut in blissful sleep.

He must have been the proudest man when he walked down that aisle to accept his diploma on graduation day! My father taught me about love and compassion whenever he was with my mom. They had a love like nothing I'd ever seen before, and I always knew it was something special. Every time my mother would step in the room, my father got this puppy-dog look of love in his eyes. He'd get almost as giddy as a teenager, and you could tell that my mom became the only woman in the room to him. As a child, I thought it was corny that my dad called my mom "Dear," but now I realize that simple word demonstrated just how much he cared for her.

To this day, I can't remember them fighting over anything more than the thermostat; my mom was a stickler for saving money in the winter, while my father's constant refrain was "it's cold in here" as he walked around the house in two heavy sweatshirts, a blanket draped over his shoulders.

It sounds strange, but my father - not my mother - was the one who taught me the art of small talk. It started when I was quite young, during our "father-daughter walks. While swimming was fun, what stuck in my mind was the walk there and back. As his flip-flops squeaked water and the hot sun formed little beads of sweat on our backs, we'd talk about all sorts of things - what I did that day, what I liked about school and one of our favorite topics, the universe.

I was filled with question after question. He always managed to answer every single one of them.

9 Essential Life Lessons I Learned From My Father | Fatherly

Another one of our favorite places to talk was the hospital. And you need the practice even more than them. But our true appreciation of honesty is displayed when it is difficult. And a truly honest man or woman is hard to find these days. Your character is of far more value than anything you can sell it for. I have vivid memories of playing basketball with my father at 6am before school would start. Great memories.

2) Be a Consistent & Present Parent

But an even greater example. As long as I can remember, my mother and father have taken naps on Sunday afternoons. They were probably just tired. But for me, it became a healthy model of appreciating both hard work and scheduled rest. Some people choose to reject God. Others choose to ignore Him. My parents taught me to seek Him.

As I learned from them in both word and deed, life is bigger than yourself. And truest life, fulfillment, meaning, and joy is found in the service of others. My mother loves games that value words: Scrabble, Boggle, even Words with Friends. And even to this day, unless I cheat, I am unable to beat her. The sunset is no less beautiful than the sunrise.

My dad is a banker with a mind for numbers. But what I did learn is the importance of tracking dollars and developing budgets. I learned optimism from my parents. They live their lives seeing the good in others and trusting them because of it. They taught me it is better to trust and get burnt once in awhile than to live your entire life suspicious of everyone around you. As I mentioned, my dad is a financial guy and my mom is a gifted teacher and trainer.

Apart from their careers, they often use their talents in various community-based organizations to better the lives of others. They recognize their gifts and utilize them whenever possible. We went on summer vacations almost every summer growing up. But we enjoyed all of them regardless of the destination except for maybe the drive through the Colorado mountains without an air conditioner…. Both my mother and father love children and continue to invest their lives into kids. As a matter of act, even at age 60, you can still find my dad on the floor playing with his grand-kids.

The ability to learn is a gift and a responsibility. My parents taught us early not to take it for granted. I can attest that your kids will forever thank you for it. Give freely to your community.

40 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dad

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My parents have not wasted their lives. Their example has taught me the value of working hard and pursuing lasting significance over worldly success. Happy 60th birthday. Follow on Twitter Like on Facebook. I was just sharing what and how much I learnt from my parents with my son. They requested that I remain single and we restart elsewhere. I agreed and 7 yrs later a single parent, with so much better life just me and my children and now they are well-adjusted and super happy and proud they spoke up. I was able to raise them the way my parents raised me. Thank you for sharing and so many people are not as blessed.

I was just sitting here this morning thinking about my own parents.

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Mine were the exact opposite of your parents. Abuse, rejection, invalidation were daily lessons from both parents. I am always amazed when others share their awsome experiences. What amazing gifts to have in your life! God bless. A beautiful tribute to your parents. I remember many of the same attributes in my parents. There were many wonderful moments and many not so wonderful moments growing up.


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  8. But probably the number 1 value they shared was devotion to their marriage. You take the best moments from those memories and carry on.

    Lessons from My Father (Tribute to Dave Wilkerson)

    You take the harder moments from those memories and make change. Get involved with volunteering, get involved with those around you, choose to be happy. And in choosing to be happy if it means making changes, have courage to do so. Again, a beautiful tribute to your parents. Are you a young man seeking for christian sugarmummy or young lady seeking for christian Sugardaddy, christian Single Ladies and single guys. Are you good in Bed? Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and will eventually come back someday.

    I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a nice day!

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