Dad is a man of few words, but his integrity speaks throughout his life. His work life is above reproach and his financial skills are trusted by many leading men in his industry. His work ethic is astounding; I could never imagine him taking the easy path when the project requires otherwise. When remodeling the house, he always fits everything correctly and uses the proper tool for the job. If it will take more time, so be it–it has to be done right.
One summer, a college friend and I spent a few days helping Dad rebuild the back fence. Dad was very careful to guide us in building the fence properly–using screws instead of nails, lining up the posts precisely, and using foot boards to make the fence last longer. We could have built the fence cheaper or more quickly, but Dad’s deep commitment to quality and craftsmanship overruled.
Dad’s main priority, for as long as I can remember, has been to secure the future for his children. He’s enabled each of us to pursue high quality education and careers fitting to our personalities, skills, and interests. He’s worked many long hours to make sure that, as long as we were under his care, we would not have to worry about food or shelter. Our home was always safe and comfortable.
In college, I was certainly not a model student and my grades rarely met up with anyone’s expectations. But, I still graduated and had a career lined up for after college. At the end of the commencement ceremony, I vividly remember his words: “I’m proud of you.”
As an adult, we’ve had various success at connecting on a personal level. When I got into bicycling, that was a great shared experience that we both tremendously enjoyed. Battling against heat, wind, and even torrential rain helped us bond in new ways.
Whether it be job seeking, car shopping, house buying, financial planning, home repairs, career decisions, or any number of other topics, Dad has counseled me with advice and suggestions. Before and after every job interview I’ve ever had, I’ve called Dad for clarity and wisdom on how to proceed. He has always been just a phone call away.
Thinking about it now, I have never had the slightest doubt that Dad wouldn’t be there when I need help or advice. It’s almost an unspoken guarantee that he’ll do whatever it takes to help when any of our family is in need.
Dad’s influence in my character has been subtle, but significant: he has incrementally shaped who I am. I strive for the same integrity and work ethic that he has exemplified. And someday I hope that I can always be there for my kids like Dad has been for me.
I love you, Dad.