There are many more examples of how I do things like him now. In fact, I have saved money over the years, being able to do jobs in the house because I watched him. So whether it's installing a ceiling fan, fixing a faucet, putting in a new toilet bowl, changing a fan belt in my car, or painting a room, it all comes down to what I learned from him.
When I go about doing business or investing or even when I am balancing my checkbook, I call upon things Dad taught me. More importantly, when something happens with my son or daughter, and I hear myself talking to them, I sometimes am repeating verbatim what he once said to me. I catch it maybe when I finish a sentence, and I turn around, smile, and feel that connection to my father that makes me want to pick up the phone and thank him.
My Dad worked very long hours in his real estate business. He did this in order to provide the best possible life for us. Of course, that means he wasn't always there for dinner. He sometimes worked on Saturday and Sunday because he used to say, "When it's your business, you cannot take time off."
My father not only taught me that work ethic, but he also showed me that he could still make time for me. If I had a baseball game, I'd see other parents there, and I would be in the outfield and feel sad and all of a sudden I'd look up, and he would be sitting in the bleachers. I don't know how he did it, but he found the time to be there. He always did.
As a kid I often heard "No" when I asked for something. I didn't get everything I wanted, and this taught me that I had to earn the right to things by helping out around the house, doing well in school, and being a good person. Sometimes I faltered, but he never stopped loving me and always showed me the way.
When I was a teenager, I never got anything just handed to me. I wanted to buy a car, and he said I should work for it. I did get a part-time job at 15, and by the time I was 17 I had enough money to get that first car. I am glad he taught me that invaluable lesson about earning things and not just getting a handout. Later on, if my car broke down, my Dad would show me how to fix it. He always helped me when I asked, and he never qualified his help with an opinion on what I was doing right or wrong.