A few weeks ago, my Future Challenge asked what your legacy will be.
I started blogging long after my Dad passed away, and so he hasn’t been featured much in my posts. Still, he was a big influence in my life, my sister’s life, my step-sisters’ lives, the lives our children, and the lives of his siblings and their families.
Rob was the oldest son in a family of seven children. He learned early to be a short order cook, and in high school he always had at least one job. He was everybody’s confidant and friend. He was a second Dad to some of his younger siblings, and to my step-sisters.
Dad also followed his father into a career as a structural engineer. He saw many things, when I was younger, in black and white or right and wrong. In my teen years (the 1960′s) we had many “animated” discussions, and some serious disagreements. I learned that he couldn’t fix everything, and that (like everyone else) he wasn’t always right.
He was more than 6’4″ tall, and although he raised his voice when he was passionate about something (he was also hard of hearing), he never needed to use force to make a point. He was openly warm and affectionate, and his inclination was to give everyone a chance. He could be very silly, even goofy, with us, and he unfailingly loved his family and friends. He loved being a father and grandfather.
He taught me to add columns of numbers, and to “save my tears for something important.” He showed me how to caulk a window and change a tire, and to always opt for kindness. He gave us a love of sports, but also shared a love of music with my mother, and with us. He encouraged us in everything we did, and assumed we could do anything we set out to do.
He taught me what to expect in a man – responsibility, strength, humor, warmth, kindness – and respect.
Thanks for your legacy, Daddy – and Happy Father’s Day!