My dad wasn’t a philosopher. He was just an average man doing his best to help raise and provide for his family.
I don’t remember him giving me a lot of verbal advice. He was better at leading by example, and because of his example, I developed a good work ethic, a deep faith, and devotion to family and friends.
I do remember my dad telling me once, “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Unfortunately, I didn’t heed that advice. I hurt someone’s feelings, and as a result, I ruined one of the most precious relationships I ever had. If only I had kept my mouth shut, perhaps that person would still be an integral part of my life.
My dad wasn’t perfect; he made mistakes, but he always tried to do the right thing. He lived by the Golden Rule, and he taught my siblings and me to live by it, too.
I know my dad loved us and was proud of us, even though he sometimes had trouble verbalizing his feelings. Perhaps that’s why it always meant so much to me when he gave me a hug and told me he loved me.
My dad has been gone for five years now. Even though the grief I felt over his death has subsided, I still get an occasional tear in my eye when I think about how much I miss his laugh, mannerisms and the way he used to tease me.
Because of the man he was and the lessons he taught me, I will carry a part of him with me for the rest of my life.