Best Lesson Learned From Your Father Figure?
When you reflect on Father’s Day, what was the best lesson you’ve learned from the father figure in your life? What’s that one principal you’d want to pass onto your offspring? It shouldn’t take much reflection to know, but if it doesn’t come quick – read the comments on this article to see if they provide any more insight to that topic.
For me, I was blessed with a loving, intelligent and kind father. Today is a bit more poignant for me as we lost him sooner than expected early in May and the Celebration of Life is this Sunday. With that I want to share about his life-long example of learning and curiosity. The world is ever-changing around you. Technology, the economy, the items you interact with – perhaps even depend on for your life, evolve. With that in mind, my father was always adding new abilities, regularly learning how things worked, and frequently doing tasks that left me in awe.
It was normal for him to just dive in and fix things rather than call a repair man. I remember two occasions that our used washing machine died and flooded the family room. He’d break out the shop-vac and clean up the water. Then slide the bulky unit away from the wall, open it up, find what needed to be replaced and go get a new part. Our TV was a Heathkit he’d built himself, and the used dishwasher was a free “dead” one he diagnosed and repaired.
At one point he and my mom decided to do a brick entryway at the front of our (at the time) modest home. I remember thinking it was odd how my dad spent so much time hanging out with the bricklayer. The chatted about various topics as my dad moved bricks and materials for the fellow, asking related questions here and there. Over the years since, my dad laid more than 10 tons of brinks in a massive English Garden that evolved in the front yard. You can’t tell the difference between the work done by the professional and those that he installed.
The optime I got to see involved him avoiding having to land an airplane with the front landing gear stuck retracted. He had a pilot’s license and had traded car repair for a Piper Cub. Later he traded it plus some other car repair for a Piper Cherokee. While coming into Santa Rosa Airport, the front gear wouldn’t come down. I won’t go in to details about the maneuvers they had him try to get it to come down, or about the fire trucks and an ambulance being stationed at the runway for what might have been an inevitable crash landing. How did he safely get his plane down? He put the plane on autopilot, removed the front seat, and used a pair of vice-grips to pull the correct cable several times to get the gear to go down. How did he know to do this? He had the licensing to work on the plane chassis and had done extensive refreshing on the interior.
My youth was spent at the front seat watching him successfully attempt so many tasks in a diverse set of disciplines. At times I got to participate – rebuilding car engines, wiring a network into my home, upgrading the windows, the list goes on and on. I’m no where as talented as he was, but I now see just how vast the human potential is to learn and grow. And I’m looking forward to sharing that with my son as he continues his college education and decides where he initially wants his career to go.
How about you? What was the lesson you’ve learned from the father figure in your life that you cherish the most?