5 Condolences: things my father taught me

Dad's retirement partyMy father recently retired after 37 years in ministry. I was fortunate to be able to fly home to join him for his final sermon and his retirement celebration. Over the course of the day, I was reminded through others’ stories of the many lessons I have learned from my dad’s words and actions: put others’ needs before your own; offer support and encouragement in all situations; shower those around you with love and kindness; and never forget to laugh – most importantly, at yourself.

As Father’s Day approaches, we share 5 condolences about lessons from Dad:

  1. When I was 5, I thought you were the tallest man in the world, you would pick me up and toss me around in the air. You taught me to tie my shoes left handed, I bowl left handed, we played catch on the front sidewalk, you taught me to play baseball left handed. Sorry about the golf though, that I had to learn “right handed”. We played golf every father’s day until 1995, the year I moved to Tucson. I miss that. The boys that hung around the house will always remember the “Carl look”, you know the one where one eye closes and the other eye brow lifts up, any one who knows that look knows what it means, I have seen it myself many times. NO worries, no tears, we will see each other soon enough and you can lift me in the air again. Love you Daddy. [Published in The Macomb Daily]
  2. I’ll always remember when I brought home my school papers you read them and would say, “That’s great,” whether it was an A or a C. Or my cat died in January when there was 2 feet of snow and you came up to the house and dug a grave through the frozen ground so I could bury her. Or one time you were in the E.R and asked a nurse to get me a blanket or wanted to share food off your hospital tray. You taught me to drive, to fish and how to milk a cow, change a tire, how to have a sense of humor. It was unconditional love and I will miss you for the rest of my life Dad. [Published in Syracuse Post Standard]
  3. Dad, you will always be my hero. You taught me how to be the best person that I can be, family is always first, and always keep your faith in God. You showed me the true meaning of LOVE, RESPECT and GIVING. I’m truly going to miss our father/daughter talks, breakfasts, and my taunting you for liking the Cleveland Browns and making wagers on the other team that would most likely beat “YOUR BROWNS”. I feel it was too soon for you to leave us here, but i’m glad that you are no longer suffering. Thank you for being my dad, my friend, my hero, and the head of OUR FAMILY. All the memories I have will be cherished forever. You were a great provider, always had a hard time saying ‘NO’ to us kids, your sense of humor is greatly going to be missed. Love you with all my heart. [Published in The Columbus Dispatch]
  4. When I met my Dad I was around 3. He taught me so many things. How to throw a baseball, how to drive, how to barbeque. Most importantly he helped teach me how to be a Man. He as the song says “was the Dad he didn’t have to be” I am eternally grateful for the love and support he showed me throughout the years. I cherish the memories he made with my family. My boys love their “Papa” and will miss him dearly. Near the end he showed me strength during the most painful and fearful time. He smiled often, laughed when he could, and greeted everyone with a smile. He faced the end with courage, laughter and love. Even in death he teaches me…… [Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
  5. Dad, what can I say? You raised me and taught me so much in my life. We have done so many things together its crazy. Little League, Boy scouts, Camping, Reno, NY, Canada, Santa Cruz and I can get on and on. You told me a long time ago Robert the reason why I am so hard on you is because I Love you son and want you to grow up to be a GREAT man. I thought you were just being mean but know at 34 yrs old with 2 kids of my own I get it dad. Open the door for a lady, sit up straight when your eating, chew with your mouth closed, put your hand in your lap, always try to better yourself no matter what you do in life. It has been 6 Mondays the last time we talked on the phone like we did every Monday. I MISS it. Talking to you about football, baseball, government, the kids, the weather and whatever else was going on in the news. Dad I Love you very much miss you like crazy.  [Published in the Press Democrat]

Legacy.com reviews one million condolence messages each month. In our “5 Condolences” series, we highlight messages with a common theme.

About Katie

I joined Legacy.com in 2002 as a part-time content screener and now serve as Director of Operations, overseeing Legacy’s day-to-day operations (Guest Book screening, obituary processing, customer service, and client service). I grew up in California, the daughter of a psychologist and a minister. My parents instilled in me the importance of listening to and caring about others. One of the things I appreciate most about working at Legacy.com is that I am able to have a small part in easing people's pain during one of the most difficult times in their lives. In my life outside of Legacy, I enjoy baking treats (and bringing them to the office to share), playing the piano, reading, taking pictures, tending to our vegetable & herb gardens, trying out new restaurants and foods, spending time with my husband, Chuck (whom I met at Legacy) and our kids, Brett Jr. & Josie.
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