My 89 year old father passed away last week. Today I’ve shared some of the wisdom I’ve gained from him.
I grew up on our 88 acre produce farm, one of 10 children and I write this from my perspective. As you know each of us has their own.
Love – My dad loved his family, friends and life. My father and I were alike in many ways and were at odds with each other many times. With the help of a therapist I healed my relationship with him when I was 27 years old. It was because of this I can look back at good memories and good times with love.
Faith – My father sent us to parochial schools and attended church with us regularly. On Saturday nights he took our migrant workers to Mass (said in Spanish) in the back of our pick up truck. We would beg to go with them and at times he allowed it. My spiritual path began at an early age and continues today.
Ask – We were taught how to ask others when we wanted an answer. Because we lived in the country we were always in the car commuting somewhere. My father would use this time to pass on his values through lectures. One of the main things I took away was to “ask” for help, directions or anything else you may need.
Dance – My maternal and paternal grandparents came to the U.S. from Poland. As a family we practiced many Polish traditions. My favorite was learning and dancing the Polka. My dad loved to dance. There was no greater joy than the rare occasion of being in my father’s arms when it was my turn to dance with him at a party or wedding reception.
Farming – Learning to be self sufficient and grow your own food was a major gift. Later as a young mother I took the same skills and began my own flower business on two acres of land. What an impact this gift had on our young family.
Nature – Working in the fields allowed us to find joy in our work and the outdoors. Our pond was a gathering place where we learned to swim, fish, and ice skate. We had an old cabin in the woods where we’d play house with cousins.
We worked three seasons outside each year from sun up to sun down. Nature was also our play ground. We learned how to entertain and enjoy ourselves outdoors. These things seem lost in today’s world.
Work Ethic - My siblings and I began working at the Farmer’s Market selling produce from our family farm when we were six years old. My father taught us how to greet customers, make change, accept returns, give free samples etc. He would drop us off as early as 5:30 am and return for us and the empty crates and full cashbox at 6 pm.
Communication – We learned how to communicate with people of all ages. When you are in sales you have no choice but to speak up. We knew we had a job to do and we did what was expected of us.
Commitment – My dad began working at a manufacturing plant when he was 15 years old. He retired after 45 years of service. This combined with co-managing the farm with my mom was how he supported his 10 children.
Last weeks Magical Monday winner is Meagan.
What significant things have you learned from your parents or caretakers?