Lessons I Learned from My Dad

Hebrews 11:4b
 . . . He being dead yet speaketh.

My dad was a remarkable man.  Born and raised in poverty in the hills of Tennessee during the early 1900s, his spirit of adventure and his commitment to work hard took him a long way.  Although he only had a fourth grade education, he taught me some of life’s greatest lessons.

In my teenage years he showed me how to check the oil in our 1966 Mustang (Man, do I wish I still had that car!), how to change a tire, and even how to jumpstart the other car that often refused to budge on it’s own.  I learned how to paint, wallpaper and lay tile from a man who could figure out how to do just about anything.

But he taught me more than just how to do things as he modeled patience, compassion and unconditional love.  His sense of humor kept us laughing even in the hard times, and the stories he would tell from his youth got bigger and better every time he told them!

The lessons I remember most from my dad were these:

  • Always keep your promises
  • Work hard and be proud of what you do.
  • A good imagination is one of life’s greatest gifts.  Use it often and wisely.
  • When faced with a problem, don’t say, “It can’t be done.”  Get busy and figure out a way to do it!
  • Don’t give up! You’ll succeed if you just keep trying.
  • You don’t have to preach to teach people about the love of God.

Just a few days ago I stood staring at his gravestone.  It seems impossible that he’s been gone 11 years, because he is still so very much a part of my life.  My brother and I were truly blessed.  We will always be grateful that we had a father who cared, who was sensitive to our needs, and who left us with lessons to guide us through life.  Dads, what will your kids think when they stand looking at your gravestone?.

Beloved Father, thank You for giving me an earthly father who reflected Your love and compassion.  Thank You for the lessons he lived.

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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