One of my earliest memories is of telling my father I wanted to be a secretary when I grew up. He replied: "you can be anything you want to be, not only a secretary." At the time I was probably 4 or 5 years old and it didn't mean much to me, but it was something I never forgot. As I grew up I had no doubt that I could opt for any career path I desired.
My dad is a very hard worker; I'm sure he gets his work ethic from his own parents, and so on back through the generations. It's nice to think of the past being carried down through the family tree in such a way. Relatives I'd never even known, some I've never even heard of, are patchworked into my DNA and will continue to be carried on in future generations.
When my brother and I were young my dad would work long hours, sometimes not returning home until 8 or 8:30 pm. I'm sure he wanted nothing more than to have a bit of peace and quiet after 14 hour day, but we clamored to have him spend time with us, which he always found the energy to do.
He loves animals and from him I learned to have our pets "talk". Some might call this anthropomorphism or even crazy, but for us it was just something we/our animals did. We had a lot of laughs doing this; our dogs Parrish, and later on Max, would come up with some interesting comments and/or thoughts.
He has a great sense of humor and i think from this I have learned to see the funny side of nearly any situation. One memory is very clear for me: During a long hospitalization I had when I was 19, my dad happened would come by at lunch time to keep me company. Despite it being a difficult time for my family with my illness and lots of uncertainty, we found humor listening to the ribald elderly man in a room across the hall, who loudly recounted the story to a visitor of "having a tube shoved up his ass". This struck us as incredibly funny and we couldn't help but break into laughter. It wasn't so much what he was saying (well, yes, it was that too) but the fact that he was practically yelling it for all the world to hear, on top of the fact that we tried to stifle our laughter, made it all the funnier.
We learned financial responsibility at a young age and one of the most important lessons I got from my father as not to buy something you couldn't afford. Saving up for something was the way to go. With credit, you ended up paying more for a purchase than it actually cost, if you didn't pay off your bill each month. I'm very grateful he passed on this wisdom, it has been one of the most important pieces of advice I've received.
We both share a love of gardening and the outdoors, in fact, my dad's father had an amazing vegetable garden. Any successes I have in the yard I can no doubt credit to my genetic makeup and also probably absorbing information unconsciously while watching my dad dig in the yard as a kid.
I'm thankful for all the traits I inherited from my dad and can't imagine having anyone else for a father. Happy Father's Day, Dad, I love you!