Lessons My Father Taught Me

June 18th, 2010

father's day 2010

Sunday is Father’s Day. A very special day for Dads everywhere.  I wrote a Mother’s Day Tribute, so it is only fair to do the same for Father’s Day. But today, Dad, it’s all about you. I always Blog about mom, and rarely about you. But you have impacted my life more than you could ever imagine. I am where I am today because of mom’s nurturing, but your guidance.

For those of you reading who actually know my father, know he’s a man you instantly fall in love with. He is a man of his word, a man with a kind spirit,  and a true inspiration to me. This is not to sound cocky, but there is nowhere that I don’t go, where I don’t hear, “You’re so-and-so’s daughter? Your dad is such a great guy, ” or “I love him. What a warm and genuine person.” Lucky me.

So dad, this one’s for you, and for my thousands of women readers around the world. Here are the life lessons I have learned from my dad. They are for everyone. Maybe you’ll pick up a tip or two! :)

  • Your name will stick with you for life. Make sure that name is synonymous with integrity, kindness and truth.
  • You must be a person of your word. This comes back to integrity. Your word must be honorable.
  • I learned that a handshake is as strong as any signed contract in business. My father’s handshake is his word. I have tried to make mine the same.
  • He is the reason I know how to close a business deal and although I sold my business three years ago, that skill still feels very palpable today.
  • He is the one who taught me, “The Art of the Schmooze.” Not because he’s phony. No way. Because he genuinely has an interest in every race, culture, ethnicity and religion in this world. He is a lover of all people, and he is a sponge. As am I.
  • He is the reason I love Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Earth Wind and Fire, Kool & The Gang, Stevie Wonder, Basia (bet you never heard of her), Anita Baker, Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, and more. Sense a theme here? We’re both still stuck in the 70′s (or earlier), but it’s our comfort zone! He has given me my great appreciation and ear for music.
  • He is also the one responsible for giving me my appreciation of great food and great wine. I die for both.
  • He taught me to always cut the cloth according to the measure. If you don’t know what that means, Google it.
  • He taught me to always face the music, no matter how dark it may sound.
  • He taught me not to spend next week’s paycheck.
  • He taught me to love what you have, and have what you love.
  • He taught me that family comes first.
  • He taught me about kindness and loyalty.
  • He taught me to always plan ahead. I am like a scout today… I always plan ahead. And not only do we both plan ahead, we anticipate the other person’s response, and are therefore constantly in problem solving mode.
  • He taught me that you can never have enough underwear or shampoo. A person must stock up on both. Ok, maybe that one isn’t one you can truly learn from, but, I have tons of both.
  • He taught me that growing up lacking many resources makes you stronger in the end and is not a bad thing. Fortunately, I didn’t learn that one first hand, but I may as well have. It’s been ingrained in me since birth. I have an immense value for a dollar. I eat every morsel of food on my plate… Every. Single. Morsel. I conserve. I don’t waste. I’m most comfortable in sweats, no makeup and being unfancy. And I know that bad things happen for a reason, and we must never ignore the message.
  • I learned that a great massage and a great workout are one of life’s great treats.
  • He taught me how to be confident and humble, all in the same breath.
  • He taught me how to give of my time, always give back and volunteer.
  • He taught me how to venture outside my backyard and learn about other cultures, and ways of life.
  • He taught me it’s ok to try bad things, just don’t make a habit out of it. Like when I tried smoking at eight years old and he then bought me a pack of Craven A’s for a Kibbitz! Again, if you don’t know what Kibbitz means, Google it.
  • He taught me how to always see my glass as half full, and how to SMILE.

Dad, you are my confidante, my mentor, my inspiration. I hope you now realize what you mean to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For EVERYTHING.

Enjoy the trip down memory lane…

fathersday3

Trying to get me to eat :)

fathersday1

Such a close family. Me upset about SOMETHING!

fathersday4

My Wedding Day... Look how my dad is looking at me

fathersday2

My Wedding Day Again... Oh Boy.

fathersday5

Me and my dad!

Bonding

Always Bonding

BUT, Father’s Day would not be complete without honoring the other incredible dad in my life. My devoted husband, a father beyond words. And when the boys asked me this morning if I will be writing about Daddy in today’s Blog post, I said, “No, you will one day.”

Father's Day

1 Day Old With First Son

1 day old second son. Immense love.

1 Day old With Second son

Tell us, what life lessons have you learned from your father? I would say, keep ‘em clean, but as always, this is a safe place to express ANYTHING… feel free to do so anonymously.

And to all the Daddies out there, a very Happy Father’s Day.

xoxEDxox

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19 Responses to “Lessons My Father Taught Me”

  1. This is really fascinating, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to in quest of extra of your excellent post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks

  2. [...] Happy Father’s Day to my most special father. I think the way he looked at me on my wedding day, just says it all. Last Father’s Day, I shared all the life lessons he taught me. I encourage you to read them: http://womenonthefence.com/2010/06/18/lessons-my-father-taught-me/ [...]

  3. [...] house was quiet. Daddy was working. Hunting for our family. And all I remember is us always… TALKING. Maybe [...]

  4. amyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Erika,

    This post really hit home with me. You were blessed to have such a wonderful father, who taught you the many great lessons that most will learn through great struggle or some may never learn. He was also blessed to have a beautiful, smart, inspiring daughter who will live on to share the wisdom with millions more people. I too had a very special father. I was daddy’s little girl… He was my biggest fan and for much of your post, I felt that you were speaking about him. I lost my father 6 years ago and my life has never been the same. i still would like to call him and get his advice, share something important with him but this is life, rt? He lives on through me now as your father will live on through you. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  5. [...] when things like this happen, I thank my dad for teaching me to always remain open in life. To always learn from the people you meet. And to always, think [...]

  6. [...] shared incredible life lessons my father taught me. I still cry when I read [...]

  7. [...] I think by now, if you’ve been following my Blog for long enough, you know my glass is always half full. I’m pretty resilient and fast at getting back on my feet when I feel knocked down. But we [...]

  8. [...] As a mom, I am always on the lookout for teachable moments.  I’m sure my kids will moan and groan in their teenage years about how “everything with Mom has to be a ‘thing’” but I can’t help myself; I’m a processor and I like to think that helping my kids think through everyday events will fortify them with valuable life lessons. [...]

  9. forex robotNo Gravatar says:

    What a great resource!

  10. Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  11. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Erica,
    Well done, and very nicely written!
    I actually read it to my mom and showed her the photos on my blackberry before Friday nite dinner at her house (which prompted her to call your dad……) I loved the old pics; I remember your dad with hair and a mustache. My dad still has his mustache but I have no recollection of my dad with much hair.

  12. AnonymousNo Gravatar says:

    For those of us without Fathers or, Father’s passed on your tribute is a legacy of memories, values and room to make us all better people. Knowing your Dad, the virtues he has instilled in you through his guidance will lead you and your family to heights you have never dreamed of.
    Congrats, on a beautiful and loving tribute for a truly wonderful Man.

  13. ann says:

    What a great post.This tribute should be published in every news paper. I cried as I read each line. You are an unbelievable writer. Cant wait for YOUR BOOK. Your dad should be very proud. Congrats

  14. Lisa G says:

    My father taught me how to be strong minded and to never be afraid to voice your opinion, no matter how controversial.

  15. gary mintz says:

    Dear Zoonies,
    Iam speechless! Thank you for all these incredible words and wonderful memories. I can’t believe i had hair at one time. Oh well, i don’t have anymore hair but i have you thank the good lord. You and all that you have created are an immense blessing for mom and I. You have made all that our family has worked for feel right. Thank you my sweetie.
    Dad

  16. Rachel Robinson says:

    Amazing tribute to your father. How proud you must be.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful post Erica!

  18. MaryNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, what an incredible beautiful post. Your father sounds like a wonderful man. We can see where you get your kindness from. Have a great weekend.

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