He was the original strong silent type. Everything he did was for the betterment of his family. I’m sad to say that I didn’t always appreciate him. (“A 10:00 curfew? You’re kidding me, right???”) But the years have taught me that father did indeed know best (most of the time).
Not only did he give me a good start in life and provide (with my mom) a safe and loving home, but he was an example of selfless, caring fatherhood. When I grew up and looked for a husband, I knew exactly what kind of man I wanted–strong, steady and loving.
Here are three life lessons I learned from dear old dad:
1. Put something away for a rainy day. My dad was a cash-only guy. He never had a credit card. The only debt he ever carried was a mortgage and he paid that off as quickly as possible. He tried to instill the value of frugality in me. I didn’t see it then, but I finally get it now. Rainy days can strike without warning and they’re worse if you don’t have a buffer against the elements.
2. Education is power. Although neither of my parents were university-educated, they both valued education and worked hard to give me opportunities they never had. It was expected I would attend university and qualify for a career. Years before RESP’s I had a savings account, and I remember going to the bank with my dad on pay day so he could put a little money aside “for my education.” His actions showed me the value of education.
3. Always dress appropriately. In some ways Dad was very old school. He liked to see me in pretty, feminine clothes. I once met him for lunch wearing a pair of practical leather loafers. He glanced at me feet. “Nice shoes. Are they men’s?” Another time I sent him a photo of my boy and me at the park. I was dressed like a cute young mom on the go (jean jacket, cargo pants and Doc Marten’s). He sent me a cheque for $200 with a note: You need to buy some new clothes. Uh–thanks, Dad.
Wishing all the dads, stepfathers and grandpas out there a very happy belated Father’s Day!