I recently lost my father after a long illness. We managed to keep him home until the end. I wrote this to read at his memorial service.
My father was not a highly educated man, but he was a true student of the world. While my mother is the professional educator in the family, dad taught me the ways of the world.

Dad taught me:

  • How to ride a two-wheeler and how to patch up the inevitable skinned knee.
  • To always carry a pocketknife, it’s the most valuable tool you’ll ever have.
  • How to shoot straight, both with a rifle and with my words.
  • To respect authority, at least when they’re watching.
  • How to fix a car that won’t start and how to fix the dent you made when you got frustrated and punched the hood.
  • How to swing a hammer and how to colorfully express your feelings when you managed to smack your thumb with it.
  • To never pay someone to do something that you can do yourself, or to at least give it a shot before you call in reinforcements.
  • That a hard day’s work has a value of it’s own beyond any paycheck.
  • To take pride in the things that you create, no matter how simple or imperfect they may be.
  • That the best solution to a problem is usually the simplest one.
  • How to slow down and enjoy a laugh and a beer with friends.
  • If you’re quick to help others, others will help you when the need arises.
  • To be serious when you need to be and a clown whenever you can be.
  • Most importantly he taught me to care for my family above all else, to cherish time spent in the company of those that you love and care about.
  • He taught me how to be a man and a father.

Like his father, my dad built things. He built most of the home that we spent a good part of our lives in and helped me build mine. But the most important things that he ever built were the relationships with his family and friends.

7 thoughts on “Dad

  1. CAROLE PRIOR AKA MRS. 'J' says:

    A MAGNIFICENT TRIBUTE to a the true value of life..a family to love and learn from You were lucky to have him as long as you did and to realize the impact and teaching that your father had for you and your brother. He was so proud of you and he was a truly noble man.

  2. […] the passing of my father, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of all of the things that he taught me, how he influenced me and how he helped to shape the man I am today. During these times of […]

  3. Catladyland says:

    Todd, I just found this when I found you on About Me. This is wonderful. Your dad was a very special man and I love that you posted these tributes to him. What blessings you were to each other. You are a great man and a fabulous son, husband, and father (and brother-in-law). Love you.

  4. Well said. I love it! Ironically, the things you mentioned were the things that saddened me for my children, when their father passed. I kept thinking of all the things they would miss out on, as he was a jack of all trades and rarely asked anyone for help. Sure, they have men in their lives who love them and will teach them, but it’s just not the same when one man could do so much and on a daily basis. He never failed to amaze me. Thank you for reminding me. I will have to show my children your list. Many Blessings!

  5. Currie Rose says:

    Beautiful post. Sounds like your dad was a great guy and role model. I had goosebumps while reading this. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

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