Lessons my Dad left with me as I celebrate my first Father’s Day

Just sitting here writing this; my head is swimming in memories.
It’s been 11 years since my Dad died of cancer. I was 26 and had the largest parts of my adult life were ahead of me. Life is simply stellar these days and the love and lessons my Father gave me are a real big reason.
Getting here certainly wasn’t easy. The loss of my Father had a very harsh and negative impact on me. I still struggle at times to this day. Despite the brave face I can show, they call it a grief journey for a reason. 
Fast forward to November 2011, I became a father when my wife and I welcomed our daughter to the world. Now, I had my own family. I was on top of the world!! Immediately, I knew what my Dad had been saying when he taught me all of his lessons in the time we had together. All that talk that once sounded like “blah, blah, blah” was now very clear and ringing in my ears. That instant, I felt incredibly equipped; after all, I was now a father.
So, on my first Father’s Day here’s what I know to be true: my Dad instilled the traits in me that I know are going to make me a successful father.
A few of the keys he left me with (I’m laughing as I hear his voice and try to imitate him) include hard work, don’t do it if you can’t afford it, and you can do anything in this world as long as you put your mind to it.  The most important of all though was when, with an unwavering conviction in his voice, he would say “you can do it!” while staring me in the eyes in a way that I knew he believed in me long before I did in myself.
So Dad… thank you! I’m fortunate and happy. Your granddaughter is magnificent and I miss you so very, very much. It’s going to be fun to watch her grow up and have me pass your lessons onto her.
Happy Father’s Day to us both!
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