As many of you know, my father passed away last month. (That’s why the blog has been so quiet over the past few weeks). Thank you for your patience and for all of the loving emails, Facebook and Twitter posts, phone calls and flowers people have sent. In honor of him, I thought I would share something I wrote and read at the memorial service for him. I will be making regular posts again soon. Thank you so much for all of your love and support! *Hugs everybody*.
People tell me all the time that I look like my mother. But if you ask her, she’ll tell you that I get my personality from my Dad. He could be very guarded, but he was always animated about the things that he cared about and friendly and helpful to everyone he met. Family was important to him. He was at every play, recital and parent/teacher conference we had. Education was extremely important to him. Perseverance and hard work was something else my father believed in.
In fact, he was one of only 3 African-Americans to graduate from Harvard in 1960.
When we were in school, he often tutored us after we had done our homework assignments and stressed discipline and studying. He always pushed us to be better and taught us how to make our own goals and achieve them. He hung one of his favorite poems “The Desiderata” by Max Ehrlman in the kitchen and I used to look at it sometimes when I got frustrated. Daddy also believed in being prepared. “Pay attention”, he used to say, “learn from other people’s mistakes…otherwise you’ll just end up shooting yourself in the foot.” Daddy always talked through problems and made lists. Lots of lists. That’s how he organized his thoughts I guess.
(To this day I make lists for everything).
He loved science fiction. I remember watching Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek with him as a little girl. He also used to love to read. I remember him reading the NY Times from front to back every Sunday and how he could stay all day at the bookstore or the library just absorbing knowledge. I guess it all sunk in, because my brothers and I all graduated from college and one of my brothers has a Masters degree.
Daddy was very proud of that.
The other things I learned from my father were to be honest. Be careful. Always say please and thank you. You can tell people your goals, but don’t give them all the details. Don’t believe everything people say. Instead, watch what they do. Never give up.
And always, always, always have a backup plan.
So if you look at me think I’m too honest, too loyal, too smart, too friendly, too much of a geek, too hard on myself, too determined, too busy, too passionate or just talk too much, that’s ok.
I get it from my Dad.