Great Father, Great Man, Great Teacher, Great Person

I only had 18 years with my father. The 18 years that I had, taught me the basis of everything I needed to succeed in this world. He truly was a great father. He crammed a lot of living and a beautiful family into 47 years – 18 of those I was blessed enough to share. The basic things my father taught us, I passed on to my kids. Last week, my beautiful granddaughter was with me and I caught her doing the things I had learned from my father, passed on to her father and now she is learning from her dad – my son.

Laugh and smile a lot. Smile when you greet people. Laugh – no belly laugh. The laughter of children and adults is contagious. I’ve heard that experiments have been done on the outcome of laughter with the result being that laughter releases something in your brain making you feel better. I don’t think experiments were necessary. My dad laughed a lot – we laughed a lot and we all felt pretty good.

Take some risks. Don’t be stupid – but don’t live in fear of your shadow. Life is pretty exciting. Risks – calculated risks – can just make life that much better.

Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. Looking people in the eyes makes them know that they are important to you. You are focused on them. You are listening. Watching TV, talking on the phone or texting sends the message that you aren’t interested.

Greet everyone when they come into your home or office, and when they leave. My dad always made us hug everyone. I didn’t love it, but I do now. My dad made us love each other and let them know that they were important immediately after walking through our door – even when they didn’t smell very good.

Ask for forgiveness. We had to do more than say we were sorry. We had to then ask for forgiveness and hug each other in love. Ask for forgiveness. It makes the person you are apologizing to pause and respond to your apology. It is a step in healing – the hug is just reinforcing your love and importance to the person.

Take time for your family. Play games. Laugh. Take a ride. Write them a note. Honor the dead and the alive. My dad did all of this. He taught us to honor each other and to honor our descendants. Every night we played a game after dinner. Every night he tickled us or let us sit on his lap. Every night we knew we were secure and we knew we were loved. Every night we knew we were important.

My dad was a great man. My dad was a great man that became a father. My dad was a father that was a great teacher. My dad molded his girls and mentored many friends into great people. My dad was on this earth a very short time, but he’s smiling and laughing in heaven. In fact, I bet he’s playing games and hugging everyone with great love.

Happy Father’s Day!

My father’s girls. Happy Father’s Day from all of us.

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