What we carry with us from our fathers

By Colleen Armstrong


In recognition of Father’s Day, the Journal asked its readers to share what they have learned from their dads.

• That we’re all just doing the best we can with the time that we have. That underneath all of our nonsense, we all want the same thing: food, shelter, acceptance, respect and love.

• A dad doesn’t have to share blood with you to be a great dad. A great dad can completely ignore the fact that you’re not really “his” child, but love you with every fiber of his being.

• How a man should treat a woman. It’s with respect and kindness and a little bit of awe.

• You are who you surround yourself with.

• Work hard and always follow through. Do what you say you are going to do. Be accountable.

• Not through his words, but through his actions, he has taught me that it is never too late to start again or to become who you truly are inside.

• That it was okay to want to be Captain Kirk. He also taught me to respect the link between wanting something and working to obtain that something.

• The appreciation of a wicked pun, how to road-trip and to drive for the long haul. Also the importance of taking time to stop to enjoy the sweet things in life.

• Well into my college years my dad used to coach me on what to say when offered a cigarette. I’m supposed to say, “No thanks. It’s gucky. And my dad would kill me.” Then he’d say “now repeat after me,” and make me repeat it until he was satisfied. He passed in 2008 and my actions are still guided by “what would dad think”?

• Being a girl doesn’t mean I can’t do things. He taught me how to box, how to respect, clean and shoot several different kinds of guns, how to captain a boat, how to split wood and build fires, how to weld, and so many other things that girls don’t “normally” do, including how to care for and ride my own motorcycle.

• Only boring people get bored!

• As simple as it is, “walk on the sunny side of the road.”

• “A job worth doing, is a job worth doing well”

• It’s more important to be loving than to be right.

• Honor and pride. Your honor and integrity are all you have when the day is done. He is a man of few words, and there’s something to that silence, a secret I’m still trying to unfold. But there’s magic in that quiet smile.

• To be generous, kind, accepting and patient. All lessons taught by example. I hope my son grows up to be just like his namesake.

• The Serenity Prayer. He kept it in his wallet all the time and gave it to me to keep in my wallet all the time I was growing up. I no longer carry a wallet, but I will always carry it in my heart and mind.