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My Father Lessons From a Great Man
As some of you may know, our firm recently added a new slogan: “Live Intentionally, Leave a Legacy.” It’s one of those small phrases that says a lot, and the message will mean different things to different people. In the past month, I’ve been thinking a lot about how this motto applies to my own family and how it perfectly describes my father. My dad didn’t have much of a legacy when he was young. His father passed away when he was just 5 years old, leaving his mother to care for him and his five siblings. His older brother had to drop out of school to ensure they could have food on the table and a roof over their heads. “When I had questions as a young father, I had someone to call and ask for advice, but my dad just had to wing it.” In search of work, the family packed up and moved to Mexico City. While it was one of the most populous and most dangerous cities at that time, it also held the most opportunities. Everyone in the family got a job and pooled their earnings together. Little by little, their situation became more secure, allowing the kids to build a future for themselves. It says a lot about their mother, my abuela, that all six children were able to come out of poverty with successful careers. My father could afford to go to the United States for college when he was 26 years old. He had
been stateside less than a year when he fell head over heels for my mom. All these decades later, he’s still just as in love with her.
The reason I go back and recount the story of my father’s upbringing is because I want you to understand just how incredible he was at being a dad. Raised solely by his mother, he didn’t have a model for what fatherhood looked like. When I had questions as a young father, I had someone to call and ask for advice, but my dad just had to wing it. But despite that fact, he managed to be an incredible parent to my sisters and me. What defines my dad’s parenting style was how incredibly patient he was with us. He was never one to shout or get angry when discipline was needed. He was firm, but it always came from a place of love, trying to get us to understand where we went wrong and how we could do better. My dad kept his patience despite working in the high-stress medical field. He got his start as a hospital orderly but quickly rose through the ranks until he became an operating-room technician. By the time he retired, he was one of the most sought-after physician’s assistants for heart surgery in the state of Arizona. He got there by being an absolute workhorse while exhibiting the same uncanny patience that made him such a great father. Through my dad’s example, I learned just how intentional one has to be when it comes to fatherhood. It’s the most important job in my life. I hope I can impart to my kids the same lessons in hard work and dedication that he taught me. Dad, thank you for being who you were and who you are. Your consistent support and understanding helped make me the man I am today. I know I didn’t make fatherhood easy on you. Thanks for everything.
Happy Father’s Day,
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