It is with great sadness that I let you know my Dad passed away this week. I am unable to write the newsletter but wanted to reprint the tribute I wrote about him for Father’s Day this year. Spend time this weekend with your loved ones.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. I wouldn’t be where I am without the love and support of my father. While he was tough on me, I always knew he loved me and was looking out for what he thought was in my best interest. This weekend, I want to share with you a few of the lessons he taught me growing up that have stuck with me.
1. “Remember who you are”
My Dad used to tell me this all the time, especially as I grew older and started venturing out on my own. It took me years to really grasp what he meant and part of the reason is that I didn’t really know who I was. I was scared to show my true self to people fearing I would be rejected. I struggle with this fear from time to time, but with a lot of inner work, I gained confidence in myself and realized that I can’t worry what other people think about me. While it can be difficult not to be swayed by the crowd, we must stick to our principles and values. This will be our guiding light as we make difficult life decisions. If we can “remember who we are” when faced with difficult decisions, we can be satisfied with the outcome. However, if we just go along with the crowd, we will never be fulfilled.
2. “It’s a tough game little man, get up.”
This comes from a story my dad used to tell me about his days playing football at the University of Alabama. It was spring practice his freshman or sophomore year and he made a tackle, pinching a nerve in his neck. As he was on the ground and unable to move his arm, Coach Bryant walked over and said to him, “It’s a tough game little man, get up.” He got up, continued to practice and ended up starting all his years at Bama as a 5'8 lineman. Life is no different. It will hit us with a lot of tough times and we can either lay there and wallow in our self-pity or get up and keep going. Our effort and toughness is a choice and we can’t quit when bad things happen. If you keep working and moving forward, the rewards will be great and you will be proud of what you accomplished.
3. Say I love you and cherish your close relationships
My dad told my family that he loved us every day. We knew he was always there for us. I made a lot of dumb decisions in my late teens and early twenties, but no matter what, he was there to help and move me forward. He was always there for my sisters and taught us to stick together as a family. Not only did he show us how important family is, but he stressed the importance of close friends. He’s in his 70s and still gets together with the guys he grew up with and talks to his childhood best friend every day. These relationships are the meaning of life. I am happy to have a close family, a loving girlfriend, her family and close friends that I know I can count on and they can count on me. Being with others in good times and bad is what makes life so much fun.
These are just a few of the many lessons he taught me over the years and maybe one day I’ll be able to pass them on to my own kids. To all the dad’s out there, I hope you have a great weekend. Let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s links.