to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends.
To appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson -
Before I was old enough to start going out with friends to parties, I used to spend New Year's eve with my family. Our next door neighbours (a husband, wife and young daughter) would join us and we'd gather around the kitchen table playing the card game blackjack (21). My dad was always the dealer and the bets were small, nickels and dimes. Most of us would lose a little, win a little or break even, except for my dad. He'd be wiped out by the time we quit the game to go gather around the TV to watch the countdown to the new year.
|My parents in their youth.|
We joked that he had no luck whatsoever with money to which he shrugged and replied that he had the best luck of all because he was "lucky in love." And it was true. Aside from having an amazing relationship with my mom, he was cherished by all family, friends and the people in our community. When he died in 2007, the funeral home could barely accommodate the amount of people that passed by to pay their respects. He touched the hearts of many and left behind a legacy of love.
It was a life well-lived.
Here's a beautiful song for all of you who are missing your dads this time of year. Get out the tissues...