Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers' Day, Daddy!

That's not me with my dad, but it might as well be. My sister Juliana and I are like twins born 20 years apart.

I posted about my mom for Mothers' Day, so I'm sure you are all already jealous of me for having such a great mother. Little do you know ... I also have a great dad too. I am doubly blessed and really do credit my parents for any good I end up doing.

My dad isn't as touchy-feely as my mom is. If there's a love language that involves Princess Bride quotes, that's the lingua franca of our family. But my dad has always been a treasure trove of wisdom, gathered from his own parents, from movies, and from his life experience. From my dad, I learned such gems as these:

*Do or do not. There is no try.

*Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.

*Thou hast not to like it, thou hast only to do it.

*I can't believe people pay me to do a job I enjoy so much.

*Whether you're happy or sad is up to you.

*I will always be proud of you as long as you do your best.

Of course, my dad is more than a list of aphorisms. He's also a pretty neat guy. He's got scads of interests and has been ready and willing to pursue them. In everything he does, he gets his foot in the door and then does his best -- his real best -- until it pays off.

He's also very smart, of course, and likes getting extra degrees. He's always got to be involved in a million things ... something I, as a complete homebody, didn't inherit. I like to think I got some of his smarts, though.

My dad's lesson has always been a very simple one: Be a hard worker and a person of principle, and things will work out. They have for him -- despite many moments where it seemed they wouldn't -- and they have for me.

Of course none of that means being dour or humorless. I could listen all day to my dad's jokes, stories, movie quotes, and so on. He loves to have fun. He believes that how you feel depends on how you decide to feel, and he decides to be happy.

For a long time, I thought I was nothing like my dad. He seemed like he was from another planet! But now, as I find myself striking up conversations with complete strangers, arguing politics with experts, reading up on topics I know nothing about, and yes, quoting Star Trek, I realize that I've got a lot of my dad in me after all, and not just on the outside. That's a pretty great thing.

Thanks, Daddy, for being a great father and a great example.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Sheila. What a beautiful gift - you make me feel better about being me. I will remember this note for a long time.

Sheila said...

It's the best I could think of that ships to Korea quickly and free! Prayers and love do as well -- so I gave them to you on Fathers' Day too.

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