10 things I learned from my dad
1. Appreciation for God’s creation. My dad taught me to
appreciate everything from wildlife to majestic mountains to flowers … as creations
2. Put others first. One instruction our family heard from
him often was, “Think of the neighbors.” Even when leaving early for fishing,
he made sure I closed the car door quietly. Other people always came first.
3. Embrace people who are different from you. Everyone was a
potential friend to Dad. He learned a lot about the outdoors from friends he
had made among the Northern California Indians.
4. Take pride in your family and encourage them. He did this
5. Patience is a virtue. He demonstrated this his whole
6. Nobody’s perfect. I never heard my dad use a swear word.
But I did see him get upset a time or two … momentarily.
7. The baptism in the Holy Spirit can help you do things you
can’t do on your own. Dad tried many times to give up smoking … unsuccessfully.
After he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he never smoked again.
8. Appreciate the experience no matter what. “We know we’re
going to be successful because it’s called ‘fishing,’ not ‘catching,’ ” he
would say. A day in the outdoors was great … “If we catch fish, that’s bonus.”
9. Love your spouse, unconditionally. When Alzheimer’s hit
my mother, Dad kept her home as long as possible, doing everything for her even
though he suffered with rheumatoid arthritis. Then he stayed at her side in the
nursing home. He had always dreamed of traveling when he retired. He never got
to do it because of his devotion to my mother.
10. Keep it in the middle of the fairway. Once a scratch
golfer, he could still beat younger golfers when he was elderly … because his
drives, though short, were always where they should be. “Don’t try to impress
the crowd, just be faithful.” A great lesson for life.
Read an expanded version of this column on Snapshots.
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