Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lessons Learned From Dad

My Dad was a great teacher. Over the years he taught me many valuable and useful lessons. I can still remember the day he taught me how to drive a manual transmission car, which led to another lesson: how to use creative language to describe one's feelings when grinding down second gear. I can also remember the day he taught me "Bier auf Wein, das lass sein; Wein auf Bier, das rat' ich dir." (Loosely translated this means "Don't drink wine then beer, beer first.") This gem, in turn, led me to another great lesson: aspirin in the morning will help. And how can I forget the day he schooled me on roofing? The lesson learned here was that it is better (as in much) to be the boss sitting in the shade then the one hammering on the hot roof.

This Father's Day I will reflect on all the lessons Dad taught me over the years. From how to tie a hook onto the fishing line to how to shine my shoes, Dad was always teaching. He enjoyed sharing his wisdom with his children, and his children enjoyed the time they spent learning together. It really didn't matter that most of his lessons revolved around some form of manual labor -- cutting grass, pulling weeds, planting flowers, hanging screens, chopping wood, and the like -- it was good to be with him.

But he taught me more than just how to use my hands; he taught me how to use my mind. He challenged me to read, to memorize poetry, to add numbers in my head, and to play with words. He would play word games with me, encouraging me to learn new words and new meanings for old ones. He would play spelling games with me on long car rides and rejoice when I beat him.

He taught me history by taking trips to visit sites. He taught me beauty by walks through the forest. He taught me wonder by laying still on summer nights -- watching for falling stars. He taught me good humor with bad jokes. He taught me honesty and hard work through his example. He taught me to love as I watched him with my Mom.

He taught me the Bible and the catechism. He took me to church and taught me to sing loud. He taught me reverence and awe as he knelt to pray.

My Dad taught me that there is no greater gift a man can give the next generation then the gift of himself -- pouring out on the next generation all of his accumulated skills, knowledge, and values. I will remember my Dad this Father's Day and pray I can teach the next generation as well.

1 comment :

Richard JOHN said...

It's great to have an appreciative son and daughter on father‘s day! It's great to have an appreciative son and daughter on father‘s day! Many times the absentee father has a positive effect in his offspring by negative example, but more times it is not the norm, nor like the love that Christ asks of us. My absentee "Hey, Pa" became my father at his age of 70.

Several years later, goodness, nurture, and a loving attitude prevailed as he slipped into the first stages of Altimeter's. In time we had nurtured love and respect for each other and it consequently blurred the roles of the able and the diseased, between given the care, the caregiver, the child and the adult. Both of us were changed into men of devotion to each other.

The last few days before his death were spent embracing fatigue of the other. Best of all, our family of three generations had been rejoined through the grace of our Father. By His grace, we are all free…