Things I’ve Learned From My Father
This Father's Day will be the 32nd Father's Day without my father. My father died in an automobile accident when I was 19.
In those 19 and a half years he taught me a lot. He taught me to respect others and to do what I can to help those in need. He taught me at a young age that we're all responsible for our own actions and that if we want it something we had to work to get it. He taught me regardless of what your job is that he do it to the best of your ability because your reputation is at stake.
My dad had a bunch of sayings that he would use to teach the seven of us lessons. One of the things that he would say, that I still used to this day, is “don't curse the darkness, light a candle”. In other words, instead of complaining about a situation or a problem, do something about it. He taught me that it's okay to make mistakes because everybody does, just make sure you learn from your mistakes.
My father dropped out of high school at an early age to help support his family after his mother passed away at the age of 16. His father died when he was only 5 years old. My father joined the army and served during the Korean War. He drove a tank and was stationed in Germany so he never saw combat. When he returned home he got his GED and then went to college.
My dad was heavily involved in volunteering at our church, which is probably where I get it from. Following in his footsteps, I volunteer at our church has a cook in the soup kitchen, a member of one of the collection counting teams, I'm a Eucharistic minister, and I'm on the board for our Church's charity golf tournament.
My father also tried his hand at politics running for the school board in my hometown of Carbondale Pennsylvania, and he even ran for senator against ketchup billionaire John Heinz. He didn't win either of those elections, but it taught us again, if you want to make change, don't just talk about it, do something about it.
The most important things I learned from my dad is to treat people how you want to be treated regardless of who or what they are, and not to judge people.
I still love and miss my father to this day, not just on Father's Day, but everyday.