Readers recall tidbits they learned from dear ol’ Dad
Published June 11, 2014
METRO DETROIT — The position of “dad” comes with a long list of job requirements: provider, supporter, healer and occasional monster exterminator. But perhaps no task is more important for a father than playing the role of educator.
It’s no secret that dads can provide some sage advice. We asked our readers to share with us the pearls of wisdom their fathers told them at some point that stick with them to this day. The guidance, as you can imagine, could be valuable to any of us.
“(He said) ‘I will support you in whatever you choose throughout life. At the same time, I will always give you my opinion, whether it’s to agree or disagree. That’s a father’s duty to his children.’ I don’t know if it’s technically advice, but it’s always been one of my favorite quotes from my dad.”
“I remember vividly a time we went together to the hospital to visit an aunt who had some minor surgery. We had a nice visit, but before we left the hospital, he mentioned that he also wanted to visit Bernice, a former co-worker who he used to drive to work. She was now retired. He had heard that Bernice had a stroke and was in the same hospital. He had no idea in what condition we would find Bernice.
“When we entered her room, it was clear that she recognized him and she was obviously happy to see him, but she could not talk. Bernice could only say ‘ba, ba.’ My father was surprised but didn’t let it show.
“He sat down next to her bed and she reached out to hold his hand. He patiently told her some stories about people from work and things going on in his life. Bernice said ‘ba, ba, ba.’ My dad paused and then told her some more. He had a one-sided conversation with her, but he was patient and let her respond. I could tell in her eyes how grateful she was.
“When we left Bernice’s room and walked down the hall, I asked him how he knew to talk to her like that and asked if he’d ever been in a situation like that before. That’s when I learned that he was uncomfortable, though I couldn’t tell, but that he just did what he thought was best in the circumstances.
“He showed so much compassion and strength at the same time. I’ll never forget it, and I’ve thought of it often when I find myself in an unexpected situation and don’t know what to do.
Thank you, Dad.”
“My dad was an artist, and I remember him giving me advice about color — that it was important to experiment with color and respect the color wheel. I think it was just one of his tools, as far as being a good artist. He told me that the last time I saw him, when he was dying. I guess that’s why I’ve held on to it as good advice. It certainly helps me with my quilting.”
“It’s not really advice, but my favorite dadism is ‘I can fix anything except broken hearts.’ (That) ended up being true, by the way.”
“The best advice my father gave me was to always arrive early for a business meeting (or) appointment. He explained (that) by doing so, you send a message that you valued and respected your meeting partner’s time more than your own. Being late for a meeting not only is discourteous, but sends a very powerful negative message that you consider yourself to be more important than the person you are meeting with.”
“I was raised by my grandparents, and I was close to my grandfather, who passed away in September. He was big on integrity and told me to always be a person of my word. He said, ‘If you’re going to do something, stick to it and do it; don’t back out.’”
“He said to take all you want, but eat all you take; never end a sentence in a preposition; don’t let a customer leave the store without talking to him; always hold the door open for a lady; drive slow in the neighborhood.”
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