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The Things We've Learned: A Father's Day Tribute

Point to ponder:

What's the greatest wisdom you learned from your Father or Father-figure?

Today’s journal is a tribute from the iGnite Team and to our Fathers and Father Figures. It is chalk full of wisdom and so much love. Thank you Fathers everywhere & Happy Father’s Day!

Neissa Springmann- My dad grew up on a farm and in a family of seven children who all worked on the farm from the minute they could walk. There was definitely love in his family, they just didn't communicate or express it well. So, while growing up my dad wasn't warm and fuzzy, but I never doubted his love for me. He was my coach and he always coached me up to do and be my best, as well as to never doubt myself or settle. As I've shared before, while growing up he trained me to use two mottos: "I'm as good as the best and better than the rest", which I'd have to repeat if I ever got down on myself during an athletic practice or game. The next was, "I'm mean and tough!". I had to repeat that whenever I was injured and wanted to cry. As I grew up into an adult, he and I developed and much closer relationship and today he's my hero. He doesn't say a ton, but when he does it's always simple and wise. His commitment to family is incredible. There's nothing he wouldn't do for family, friends or really anyone for that matter. He would take the shirt off of his back if someone needed it, and he would never say a word about it. And, while he is 69 and a retired school teacher and coach, he is still the hardest working person I know. There's not a day that goes by when he's not building something for someone or climbing onto a roof, crawling under a house or digging something up to fix something for someone. His service to others and integrity are second to none and his faith is unwavering. There was a time when I would worry about everything and "what-if" everything too. One day when I was in college, while what-if'ing, he looked at me and simply said, "Why are you worrying? Almost everything you worry about will never happens and don't you know what the Bible says about worry? It says not to, so stop."

Paula Harnish- My father is a man of few words, but many actions. He can fix anything from cars to household appliances with tools and a little elbow grease. Even if I had an obscure item that malfunctioned—my Dad had the know how to get the job done. Another gift that my Dad instilled in me, was to be careful with money. My Dad worked hard during his working life and had a high work ethic. Being a civil engineer took him to many locations around the world. One example of me taking on his concern of saving money and keeping the planet healthy is that I managed to go seven years without buying ziplock bags. He loves and provides well for my Mum, brother and I. I love my Dad so much for being a strong figure during my childhood, and still to this day.

Shayna Grenewitz (San Diego)- A favorite quote my dad has always said to me is "Don't ask, don't get." My dad always encouraged my brother and I to never assume an opportunity was closed until we thoroughly pursued it. He believes that a door can sometimes be open if we simply have the courage to ask for it.

Kathleen Parker- My amazing dad who is turning 94 in a couple of weeks has taught me so many life lessons. Probably the most valuable lessons are to participate in life and don't miss anything! Through his actions he taught me to be fearless. He always said that is where the fun is. He still lives that way everyday!

Betty Cunningham- My dad taught me so many valuable lessons but there are two things that stand out in my mind. The first lesson is that the biggest investment that you can make is in yourself. Being the father of ten, eight girls and two boys, his mission was to provide the financial means, of course with our assistance, for all of us to attend the college and graduate programs of our choice. With ten children in various levels of education and post graduate education, there were seldom B’s, or Lord help you a C, received as a grade in the class. I remember coming home with all As and a B on my report card and his response was, “Why the B?” I realize that in this day and age, that might be considered a reason to call CPS, but he asked it with such sincerity. It was not a belittling question, but more of bewilderment. “The answers are all there in front of you. You have a teacher and a textbook.” The second lesson my father taught me was to have pride and gratitude for our great country, the USA. My dad was a WWII veteran and a marine pilot. The veterans of WWII are a rare breed. Many of these veterans experienced combat and warfare beyond our comprehension. These veterans had a code of silence and they went about their lives after returning from WWII with dark secrets that they seldom shared. There patriotism is unmatched and my dad truly lived the JFK quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The fourth of July was a big holiday in our house. My dad lived with integrity, diligence and aged and died with grace. I am grateful to call him my father.

Rory Smith (San Diego)- One of the things I've learned from my dad is kindness and generosity towards others. Sounds simple but my dad is generous, not only in monetary and gift giving ways, but more importantly, in ways less tangible. He's generous with his time--quick to help others in need. He's generous with his patience (particularly with his kids and grand-kids), teaching us how to play a new game, read a book or learn a sport. But most of all, he's generous with his love for family and friends, always there when we need him. No matter how far away I am, I can always count on my dad.

Crystal Tidmore- My dad has always believed in me, told me he was proud of me, and would brag about me to other adults when I could hear. This used to embarrass me and drive me crazy! But now as a parent, I see the value in praising children in front of others because it gives them great confidence to hear their parents say out loud that they are proud of their children. My dad is my biggest fan and still calls me his princess!

Amy Younkman- My Dad taught me about love, commitment, loyalty and hard work by the way he lived his life. He modeled an entrepreneurship spirit which rubbed off on me. In 1976 he founded and successfully operated a building supply company which remains in operation today. His guidance, support and encouragement allowed me to open and successfully run a women’s clothing store in the Arboretum during the mid-80’s. My Dad believed in me, encouraged me to chase my dreams and pursue my passions. He nurtured my love of music and there was always music playing in the house when he was home; rock, jazz, big band…..and we both loved to watch musicals together and sing. We did a lot of singing! Most of all, my Dad always had a giant bear hug ready for me and that is what I think I miss the most.

Jessie D'Andrea- My dad taught me how to keep my head up through the hardest times and rejoice through the best of times. Every time I walk out of the house or hang up the phone with my dad, he bids me farewell by saying, "Keep your guard up." I will live by those wise words for the rest of my life. Alli Phillips- The greatest wisdom I have learned from my dad is effectively expressing your opinion or how you feel, and responding rather than "reacting" to an upsetting situation, usually requires that you delay your response; give yourself time to process, take-in what's going on or what happened and "cool-off", so that you can speak and act with understanding in ways that are thoughtful, helpful, contsructive and healthy. So, hold your tongue, listen, process and wait before you speak or respond to something that bothers you.

And, a memorable and impactful quote from my best friend's dad, when we were in high school was, "Girls keep your head up and your gown down"- ha! Kaye Eichler- My dad taught me about love for family through his actions. He loved nothing more than just spending time with us. To this day, even at Christmas or his birthday, he insists nothing for him, but seeing and spending time with us.


Action Item:

Share the wisdom you have gained from your Dad or a Dad

figure in your life.


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