Lessons from My Father

I smiled inside as I looked to him from my corner on the couch.  He can be quiet and reserved, but if I get him talking, he can definitely warm up.  I love it when that happens. That's when he and I are at our closest, when we're talking about money, politics, family and travels.  Which normally means it's just us two in the room, because we can talk about this stuff till we're blue in the face and everyone else is bored out of their mind.  It's what we do.  

So, tonight was no different. And it certainly was refreshing. There's incredibly few people that I can broach all these subjects with and not have multiple disagreements with or feel like I must be careful of what I say so as not to offend them.  I'm so blessed to have a father that I look up to and can trust his wisdom.  So, we chatted.  And in the course of all this chatting and sharing thoughts, I was reminded of some important lessons, all thanks to my dad.  

-Be sensitive to others' needs, and bless others when you can. You'll never know when you'll be in a difficult situation.
Our family went through a really difficult time, years ago when my dad lost his job; probably one of the hardest times he and my mom have had to deal with.  But he shared how they discovered who some of their closest friends were because they extended a helping hand when our family was really struggling, and how he is now very sensitive to others who may be in a similar situation and now tries to be the one extending the helping hand. And while it seems obvious to help others, I'll admit I've never really thought of helping others at that level.  Sure, it's easy to help out when there's a food drive or when the donation basket is going around at church and you see tens, or hundreds, of people rallying to the cause.  But, it's certainly a little more difficult to actually act on your good intentions when no one else may be doing so.

-Family is everything.  Always be consistently working and developing those relationships.
Both my parents have lived in a different country from their families for the majority of their lives. So, the dynamics are certainly a little different than what most would consider a typical family.  But, while distance may create obstacles that aren't easy to get around, make an effort to keep those relationships strong and alive.

-Everything always works out.  While timing in life can often seem inconvenient, when you look back you'll see it was always for a reason.
Now that he can look back and see the big picture, he laughed at some of the choices he and my mom made. Some shouldn't have been made, some couldn't have been made at a more perfect time.  While Jason and I may find frustration in situations we may encounter in the future or consider difficult and untimely, he told me to just trust in God. 

-Have everything in order for when it's your time to go.  It makes it easier on everyone.
Perhaps a bit morbid for some, but I'm all about planning and appreciate the fact that he has the decency to save me the trouble.  I, in no way, look forward to the day that my parents go, but I don't want to have to fight with the logistics of everything when that time comes. 

I never thought that two hours alone with my dad could produce so many life lessons...but it did.  And I'm grateful.  They may seem obvious, but you can never be reminded too often when it comes to the important issues. So, thanks Dad...for the lessons, the time spent, and the love shared, each time we get to have one of our talks. 

1 comment:

amy said...

I loved this post. I'm so happy you are close to your Dad. Reading this reminded me of the times I got to spend with my Dad. So ironic that you wrote this post the day before my Dad passed. It's really so important to cherish those moments before they're gone