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“In 100 years, we’ll all be bald.”

This is one of my dad’s sayings which basically taps into impermanence and how senseless it is to worry. It’s a silly expression, and a morbid one at that as I’d imagine everyone I know not only bald, but dead and buried. But, when there are times I’m stressing out about something small or out of my control, I think of this expression.

With Father’s Day approaching, I wanted to honor my pops by sharing five things I’ve learned from him.

1.Have a sense of humor: Living with three women (mom, sister, and me), my dad had no real choice but to maintain a sense of humor. He often cracks himself up with  nonsensical comments and loves a good laugh with anyone. He hasn’t had the easiest life. A stroke at the young age of 16 left him with a disability that has challenged him everyday since. Regardless of the emotional and physical strains, my dad has a great sense of humor. When I’m going through a rough time, I try to tap into something funny; humor offers another perspective and the endorphins are an instant pick up.

2.Be thoughtful: I remember running to the door as the key clicked the lock open when my dad came home from work. He’d reach into his coat pocket and pull out a strawberry candy for each of us. My dad also has a way with words. He loves them and uses them to express his love for us…poems to my mom; emails to us while in college. It’s the little gestures that make a difference to someone else.

3.Hug often: My dad is affectionate. He holds hands, gives sloppy kisses and hugs often. As a teenager, it could sometimes be too much. Now, I appreciate a good hug. It’s a few seconds of support and love.

4.Be committed: There are few marriages I’ve seen last as long as my parents’. Going onto my 6th year anniversary with my husband, I can truly appreciate the 38 years of compromise, communication, and commitment they’ve experienced. As a parent, my pops was equally there for us; emotionally, physically, and financially.

5.Do your best: For many years, my dad worked two jobs to provide for us all. He would come home late from teaching night school citizenship & ESL classes after being in the office at CalTrans. On days off, he spent time with us. He’s not a perfect man, but he always did his best.

For these lessons, I appreciate my father today and everyday.

What are some lessons you learned from your dad? Your comments are encouraged, valued and welcome.

{image credit: original of my dad in Madrid a long time ago}

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