Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I’m sitting here thinking about my dad. He is one of the hardest working people I know, and one that I think about when I’m feeling a little bit lazy and realize that I need to get up and get it in gear. Actually, that is one of his sayings. “Troops a’ movin’” or “let’s get it in gear.” He’s also the reason why I have an obsession about being everywhere I have to be as early as humanly possible. Late is not in his vocabulary. It simply does not exist. If there is even a suspicion that tardiness is going to occur, there will be hell to pay for whomever causes it.
He worked the same job, the same job, for 37 years with rarely a negative thing to say about it. He is spoken of highly by those that had the pleasure to work with him and for him. I’ve never heard anyone that he worked with say anything negative about his work or what he brought to the workplace. He touched a lot of lives in a positive way. He taught, and still teaches, invaluable life lessons such as hard work, dedication, and self-improvement. I did not really take to those lessons growing up; I was more or less bitter toward them, because I already knew everything there was to know. Once I became a little older and wiser, I could see what it was he was doing and what he was showing my brother, me, and other young people with whom he connected, coached, and taught.
If you would have told me at 15 or 16 that I would think this way about my dad at 36, and be grateful, I probably would have called you an idiot and laughed. But it’s true. I am grateful to have the dad I have. I’m glad he was stern with us growing up. I’m glad he didn’t take our crap, or crap from anyone else. He was fair. When credit was due, he gave it. When punishment was due, he wielded it. When self-reliance needed to be taught, he stepped away and let things run their course. “Look it up” was, and still is, his favorite answer to a question.
I’m in my mid-thirties, and he is still teaching me. He may not know it, and I’m sure as hell not going to tell him, but he is.
That’s why I’m glad that he is my dad.