When we think about heroes, we often look to the traditional figure – public servant, first responder, military veteran, refugee…We rarely take the time to look closer to home….
I’m writing this post because today is my dad’s birthday and father’s day is on Sunday. I want to recognize my dad as my hero.
My father is a quiet, understated man. He doesn’t care about clothes, in fact most of his wardrobe consists of either Burberry golf shirts or shirts with the names of mutual fund companies printed on them. He has always stood for substance and integrity and he really lives it.
His colleagues, family and friends will tell you his generosity is boundless. He set up a scholarship fund at his alma mater high school for kids who wanted a chance at a private school education, were athletically gifted had the grades but just lacked the financial resources. My father was an All-American halfback in high school and college until he broke all the bones in his foot. He understands the value of education and how it can transform someone’s life. He also gives generously to hospice, knowing how well it served my grandparents and other members of my family when they were dying.
What I respect the most about my father is his leadership ability. At the age of 40, he rose from the ranks of stock boy to the national sales for a major corporation until one day his new boss decided he didn’t like him and fired him. It took some time and soul-searching but my dad found a new calling as a financial planner. He is quite successful after 25 years in the business and its hard to believe he ever had another career. In all that time, he never lost his integrity and the people around him inherently trusted him. He is never inauthentic with people and when he speaks, he captures the room, all without having to be the loudest most boisterous guy.
Admittedly, it wasn’t until the last few years that I came to understand my father for the man that he is. He is amazing but not easy. An introverted man whose actions are more profound than his words. There are parts of me that strive to be like him and parts that mirror him.
I think it was important to write all of this out publicly so that I could really recognize him for all of his true goodness, support and love. As my parents get older, I realize these moments are precious and I am getting to know both my parents for the first time as people. I am truly blessed to have them in my life.
Thanks for listening.
Happy Father’s Day.