Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lessons from my Dad

After I finished the previous blog, I got to thinking… momma wasn't the only one who made me into the strong, independent, loyal, loving woman I am. My Daddy played an even bigger part in making me the woman I am today. Here are the lessons I've learnt from him.

  1. Loyalty- I give my dad extra credit because he has stayed with my mom through some very hellish years. They will be married 45 years on Jan.6, 2013. He isn't turning his back on her now that she's sick. He's staying by her side. And I am inspired and in awe of that.

  1. Education is important- My dad got his B.S. in 1990, and his Master's in 2004. He was determined to make a better life for himself and his family. He went to night classes over many years to get his degrees. He made sure I could go to college and I got my BA in 2000. He has always encouraged me to learn and never stop learning. Even now he's very supportive of me going to classes for sewing, cooking, whatever… as long as I'm learning.

  1. Family matters- Both my parents have taught me the importance of family. If it weren't for daddy, mom couldn't have come to take care of me or Tony. He's always made sure that no matter the cost that us kids had at least one of our parents when we needed them. And when his sister got sick, he made sure that he got back to visit her multiple times because family matters. He calls his brother weekly and their bond is what I miss about Tony. If his sisters needed him right now, he'd get in the car and drive there, no questions asked.

  1. Respect- This is a lesson every dad needs to teach his daughter. By respecting your wife, you daughter will come to see that she deserves to be respected. When a man dared to lay a hand on me it broke my heart to tell my dad. I knew it hurt him as much, if not more, that I'd been abused. He never hit my mother, no matter if she hit him. He is the man that I measure all others by. He never let us kids speak disrespectfully to mom or another adult. He respected us and we respected him. Still do!

  1. Home Repair- When my kitchen sink in WI started leaking, it was via the phone dad had me fixing it. When the toilet downstairs wouldn't stop running, via the phone he instructed me on how to stop it. Even though I was crying -due to burns on me legs- the entire conversation,  he walked me through it step by step. When my sump pump quit, Daddy was with me- via the phone- as I prowled Fleet Farm in search of the right pump. When I couldn't get the lawn mower to start, he walked me through how to check it. And every time he and mom came home to visit me in WI, he never complained that his "Daddy-do List" was full. Never once has he made me feel stupid for my questions or told me he didn't have time to teach me. I still won't play with electricity, but I know where the breaker box is and how to turn off the power to the entire house.  I'm proud when he calls me "Princess Plumber".

  1. Patience- See above! He may get frustrated, but he still teaches me what I want to learn. Even if as a girl I question every darn thing.

  1. Nap time is good- When I was a child I didn't get why Dad liked to nap. Now as an adult- it's one of my favorite activities. Never underestimate the value of a refreshing nap. I take them whenever I can.

  1. The value of myself- I have been through hell and back. And my loudest supporter is my dad. He reminds me that I am stronger than I think. That I can do whatever I set my mind to. He doesn't allow me to settle for less than what I deserve. He cheers me on and up when I feel lost and worthless.

  1. Love- this is the biggest lesson my dad has taught me. Unconditional love isn't just words to him. When I lost a job, lost my house, lost my self… Daddy has loved me through it all. When I started to believe what mom told me, he reminded me that I was loved by him. When I felt like my world had come undone after Tony died and spiraled into depression, it was Daddy who saved me. He was there every time I called or needed him. And now on the bad days with mom, he's the one who's reminding me that I can do this and that I am loved. He reminds me that mom does love me even if she gets mean, that it's the disease. I know this, but he knows I still need to hear it.

My dad is my best friend. He's my confidant, my teacher, my boss and my partner on this journey. But most of all he is my HERO. And I don't tell him that enough.

~Princes Plumber~

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