Me and my father. Mantoloking, N.J., 1967.
It’s been nearly twenty years since my father died, and he’s still at the forefront of my mind. My father taught me many important life lessons. By being successful in business, he showed me the importance of perseverance and hard work. He was a reserved, understated man, who showed his love, compassion and generosity by taking care of our family and making sure we were happy. Material possessions weren’t important to him. During the summer, one of his greatest pleasures was walking Bonnie, our chubby yellow Labrador Retriever, along the beach. According to him, this is where he conjured up his best thoughts.
My father was always a bit of a puzzle to me. On typical gift giving times, such as birthdays or Christmas, he insisted that I not buy him anything. He said he already had everything he needed.
I never realized how many lives he touched until I saw hundreds of people show up at his wake. People that I’ve never met, introduced themselves and told me how much my father helped their family, by paying bills, giving a family a car or helping someone get a job.
The best gifts we can give or receive are the ones we can’t see. I wish more people would understand this concept.
Dad, I love and miss you very much. Happy Father’s Day.