Thinking of my dad, on Father’s Day. I still carry with me all of the helpful nuggets of wisdom he shared with me throughout my life, such as always bring a jacket (I keep at least three in my car), and that we make decisions, not mistakes. He would take my sister and I fishing, helped us build a fort back in the woods, taught us how to mow the lawn, and tried to share his interest in gardening.
If he was still alive, I would have lots of questions for him the last few weeks as we planted this year’s garden. Maybe the biggest lesson learned from the loss of a parent is that we never had as much time as we thought to ask all of our questions. Something that was most apparent last Summer when my sister, brother-in-law, and I worked together to get my dad’s tractor started. Years ago, he would have hopped right on top and easily gotten it started.
Perhaps a misconception I had as a kid and as a younger adult was that my dad wanted me to be just like him. But, that would have been a daunting task. As a father myself, the most important thing that I want for my kids is that they find health, happiness, and success in what they do throughout their life. They don’t need to follow the same path that I’ve been on in life, but there are times when I feel that I have advice I can share based on my own experiences.
I feel as though my dad wanted the same thing. This was apparent a couple of years ago, when he would ask about how my son, Josh, was doing. I could tell that despite all of his health issues, he was still worried about Josh’s fight with cancer, and my job search. Through thick or thin, he was first and foremost my dad. And, I’ll always be grateful for the support he offered me along the way.