I miss him already, but I am not going to use this space to eulogize him. Like all men, he had his strengths and his faults. Instead, I would like to share with you the inheritance he left my siblings and me.
Strong work ethic: My father worked hard. Having grown up without a father on a farm in Missouri, he knew what hard work was, and he was not afraid to do it. He was also not afraid to demand it. Married at 19, he worked his way through college while supporting his young family at the same time. Though our family may not have had as much as some other families, we never lacked food, housing, or love. Dad also believed that whatever job you had, no matter how menial, you did your best. No short cuts.
Responsibility: First, Dad firmly believed in working, saving, and living within your means. If you couldn’t afford it, you didn’t buy it. End of story. Second, he believed you took care of what you were entrusted with, whether you owned it or not. The homes they rented were as well maintained as the home they built and lived in 52 years. Everything they owned (cars, tools, clothes, etc.) was cared for, and lasted a long time.
Devotion to Family: Dad worked long hours, his job sometimes requiring him to be gone both during the day and the evening, but his spare hours and the weekends were devoted to his family. He rarely missed one of our sporting events or activities. He faithfully helped Mom with Sunday morning breakfast after church, and he would routinely take me out to a nearby tennis court to teach me the game. Holidays were always spent with family.
Generosity: Anyone who knows my parents, knows how generous they are. They invited everyone they met to come and visit, and they would house them for as long as they wanted to stay. They have had visitors from all over the world and from the next town over. All were important. Of course, Dad would want to drive them everywhere . . . Yosemite, the coast, San Francisco . . . even the Grand Canyon . . . sometimes to their guests’ exhaustion, but Dad wanted to make sure that if this was their only visit to California, they were going to see everything!
I will certainly miss my father, but I haven’t lost him. Though physically he is not with me, he is most definitely a part of me. Love you Dad.