I don’t share a lot of personal information on my blog or elsewhere anymore. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more private. I prefer to have my work speak for me, and keep my work more separate from my private life. But today I’m going to break from that, at least for a moment.
My dad passed away on Sunday afternoon, after a long battle with a pretty terrible illness.
My dad was an impressive man with a long list of accomplishments: a veteran, a very successful small businessman, president of the school board. He helped start the largest vocational school in the state, and he was even mayor of the small town I grew up in.
I don’t think, however, that these are the kinds of things for which he’d like to be remembered. I think that for my dad, it wasn’t so much what a person did as much as it was how they did it. My dad was impeccably honest, sincerely humble, and an extremely hard worker. He embodied words like integrity and dependability.
I could make a list of the things that my dad taught me, like how to drive, how to make fudge, how to keep a lawn looking good, or a thousand–ten thousand–other things. But I feel that what he really taught me was the power and value of honesty and integrity. He taught me to value these things in others and to strive for them in my own life, both my professional and personal life. I’ve fallen down in this, of course, but thanks to the shining example of a life my father provided, I can pick myself up and try again because I never lose sight of the goal.
I will probably write more about my dad at a later date, but this is all I can manage now. I’ll miss him.