When I was eight, Daddy told me that one day I’d write a book about him, and be a teacher. I didn’t really pay much attention to his words of wisdom at the time, because he had a bottle of wine in his hand; but I never forgot those words, and over the years they sustained me as I found my way through the road called life.
Today, I want to remember Daddy for being a gentle, sensitive, man who did the best that he could, and always kept his word. Thank you, Daddy, for planting a seed of the written word in me.
7 Life Lessons Daddy taught me:
1. Always be on time.
Being late was not an option at our house. Daddy used to tell us that if we couldn’t show up on time that we were being disrespectful. The last thing I wanted to do was to disrespect.
2. Make lemonade out of lemons.
I know it sounds cliche’, but there’s truth in his words. We can’t control our circumstances any more than we can control the weather; but we do have an option to sweeten the sour times in our lives with a little sugar; or to take out the umbrella in the downpour. If we don’t have an umbrella: dance in the rain, because there is always somebody else that has it worse than you do.
3. You are stronger than you think you are, and you must stand even when you feel like giving up.
Quitting is not an option. You can be a tired fighter, but never be a quitter. If you quit, you will regret your choices for the rest of your life. So, don’t quit. Regroup, and get back in the race.
4. Give more than you feel that you are able to give, of your time, talents, finances.
Little giving reaps little. If you are going to invest time and energy into doing something, do your best work. Not only will others feel that you care about their needs, but you will feel peace that you honor Christ by honoring others.
5. How to bait a fish hook.
For a long time, I felt so badly for the poor little worms who gave up their lives, unwillingly, so that I could eat fish. Sigh.I understand now that it was their purpose in life.
6. Find something to be passionate about, and pursue it.
For me, it was writing; but since writing was something I did for fun, life got in the way and kept me from it for decades. I remembered daddy had taught me #3, I kept coming back to writing; and it never left me, even when I was busy working at other careers. I always knew that what I was supposed to be doing was writing.
7. And finally, Daddy taught me to find happiness.
It didn’t matter what others might be doing or saying; if I could be honest with myself, I would live a good life, fulfilling my dreams. He used to tell me to always treat others the way I wanted to be treated. He said, “If you are honest, you won’t need to remember the truth, because it will be inside of you.”
What is a writer? Someone who writes. For me, writing means to observe the world in a fresh way; it gives us encouragement when we are struggling to follow the path, and hope that we can keep pressing towards the mark. Writing gives us grace for the journey, and shines light into the darkened places of our soul.