… I hit the jackpot.
As wonderful a father as mine was, my love and admiration for him goes far beyond his parenting skills, good as they were. It’s also about the man he was, what he taught me just by being who he was.
He was the guy everyone turned to when they had a problem or needed advice of any kind. And by everyone, I mean family, friends, employees, even my friends. They knew he’d be objective, he’d listen carefully and that he’d be honest, thoughtful and have their best interest at heart … they knew he wouldn’t judge them … they knew he could be trusted to keep their private business private.
He was the guy who, when he gave you his word, he meant it. He always delivered, always met his commitments and obligations — without the need for legally binding contracts. His word was enough.
He could be tough and strong when he needed to be. He was definitely the guy you wanted by your side in a crisis. But he was also man enough to let his emotions show, to be soft and kind and caring and feeling.
He didn’t have a selfish bone in his body. He was giving, he was charitable. What was his, was yours. Our house was always a hub. It’s where everyone always congregated, where there was always enough food for an army.
He was loyal and decent, honest and honourable, he treated everyone equally — with respect. I never heard him raise his voice, embarrass himself or anyone else.
He was there for me, for my mother, for our immediate and extended family, for his friends and employees every day of his life, until the day he died. If you wanted someone you could count on, he was your guy. It’s been 32 years since he passed away and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and miss him. My mother always said he was one in a million. He was.