I wrote a little something about my mom for Mother’s Day and thought it would only be fair if I did the same for my dad. I am very blessed to have two amazing parents, who are young and vibrant and supportive and everything you need a parent to be.
This post is about my Dad, James.
When I was a little girl, I thought there was no one in the world smarter than he was. And I was right.
While I like to think I inherited his smarts, what I recognize now that I am a little older is that my dad has an amazing heart and deep compassion that I also hope I’ve inherited.
He smiles easily, he loves puns, he has a photographic memory, he is always learning, he is giving and kind, he has deep, unwavering faith.
So in the same vein that I wrote about my mom, here are the things I have learned from my dad.
- Don’t try. Do it. Long before Yoda, my dad used to say “trying isn’t good enough, just do it.” When I was a kid, this seemed so harsh, especially when it came to Algebra. But now, here is what I know, I am successful because I get things done and give everything my best effort. I persevere because my dad showed me how. He excelled at all that he did, he had set backs along the way, but he always gave everything his best. If you keep your expectations high, you will achieve.
- Always keep learning. My dad knows a lot of stuff. He can tell you long stories about how cotton impacted the economy of the US, he can tell you about which plants to plant in a shady, wet spot in your garden, he can tell you about how to make killer Carnitas. He has always continued to learn. When he retired he became a Master Gardener. He takes classes at the local college, he teaches classes at the local college. He reads and reads and reads. His natural sense of curiosity ensures that he is always growing as a person. I push myself to learn new things and grow as a person.
- Be Compassionate. My dad can sometimes seem a *bit* intense. (Although I have to say this has waned somewhat since he retired.) I am sure when he was younger he might have scared a few people (including me), but what many people didn’t see is behind the intensity is a compassionate, caring heart. He loves and accepts people for who they are. He is firm, but kind and he wants to best for people and will do just about anything to help another person. He believes in taking care of those less fortunate. He believes in social justice.
- Believe in your dreams. My dad always made sure we had everything we ever needed. I know sometimes it has been challenging. Here are a couple of examples. When my mom was ready, my dad helped her go back to graduate school and supported her throughout her career. He supported and encouraged me going to a private college when I could have gone to the University of Arizona for basically free. He has helped my sister achieve her dream of owning a restaurant. He sometimes has to sacrifice so others can achieve their dreams, but to him, it isn’t a sacrifice. He always believed in us… always.
- Keep the Faith. There have been plenty of times that my dad could have given up on God, there are times when we struggled as family (for example, Melanie from age 13 – 23 was a royal pain in the backside.) But my dad has this quiet, deep faith. He doesn’t “pound the pulpit”, but he lives his faith everyday. He is grounded in his love of God and his belief in God’s love for him.
I feel like in a lot of ways, I am like my dad. Sometimes, I have difficulty in showing my emotions, sometimes I am a *bit* intense, I am always curious and learning. I am so proud to be the daughter of James Wade. He is a great dad, grandfather, friend and role model.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you so!