Lessons My Father Taught Me

By June 5, 2016 June 14th, 2017 Healthy Living, Inspiration, Living

Last updated on June 14th, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Father holding his child at the beachOur relationships with our parents seem to be fodder for conversation. Whether our mother and father were wonderfully loving or were absent or challenging, our parental relationships, both consciously and unconsciously, heavily influence our lives.

If you follow my writing, you know that my mother, Lillian,  just celebrated her 100th birthday in March and that I’ve written about her many times. Most recently in the tribute piece, “My Mother Taught Me That Living to 100 is All About Attitude”. It inspires others when I share her strength, resilience, and love of life. My father, on the other hand, isn’t a key player in my recent pieces, even though he’s featured prominently in my book Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie.

Lessons my Father Taught Me

With Father’s Day approaching, it felt like the perfect time to remember and share my father. It always surprises people when I tell them my mother and father were born the same day, same year. The odds of that possibility happening are staggering. Yet, she’s still here, and my father died 49 years ago when he was only 51-years-old after walking up a flight of stairs and having a heart attack. His presence in my life is as strong today as when he was alive. He lives somewhere deep within me, in my heart and soul.

My father was the kind of person everyone remembered, whether they met him only once or knew him for many years. There is a deep sadness in me that I didn’t have the opportunity to know him as an adult to continue building our relationship. While reflecting, it became apparent that my father had taught me many lessons…some directly from how he was, and some indirectly from how he was not.

The Strength in GentlenessBaby's hand in parent's hand_Father

Perhaps what I loved most about my father Louis was his gentleness. He was the epitome of a gentle soul and often the outside world was too much for him to bear. He was a proud man with great strength and integrity and worked from the time he was a young boy, accompanying his father Noah as they rode through the streets of Hamilton selling ‘rags and bones’ from their horse-drawn carriage.

My father was in the “shmata” business his whole working life, as a traveling salesman in the menswear industry and he was very successful at it. If you measure success by how well you are liked v.s. how much money you make. Even today this many years later, the thing that people remember about my father is how “Everyone Loved Louis!” A beautiful tribute to who he was as a person.

Style and Grace

My father had an innate sense of style and grace. When he walked in a room, you noticed him. In today’s terms, he had swag. He exuded class; something you can’t teach, something you’re born with and walk through the world with.

He was always a dapper dresser and looked impeccable in clothes. I can envision how he looked with his top hat or fedora, a big part of men’s everyday fashion back in the 50’s and 60’s.

I still have incredibly real dreams about him, dreams where he walks through the door and I run to him, hug him and cry, “Daddy, where have you been, I’ve been waiting for you to come back!” He’s always in his tailored suit, wearing a fedora. With his smirky smile, he winks and says, “What do you mean. I’ve always been here.”

The Gift of Unconditional Love

My father was my first and most profound experience of unconditional love. As a young girl, I always believed, “I’m going to marry my father”. Something I imagine many young girls who love their father’s think. Instead, I somehow managed to attract and marry my former husband who was much more like my mother, continuing to search for someone like my father my whole life.

The love I felt for my father isn’t describable in words. It was such a deep and soul-felt love, that when I was young, it often felt overwhelming, not something I fully understood. I just wanted to be in his presence. As an adult, I understand that kind of love is soul love and transcends the physical plane. Perhaps that was part of our soul contract in this lifetime, a wonderful gift of unconditional love I can’t thank him enough for.

My Father the Storyteller

My father had a rich sense of humour and was a born storyteller. His delivery would have an audience in stitches as he would weave and build a story to its finale. He was a master at recounting the stories of comedians of the day in the style of Milton Berle and others. This ability to tell stories, to engage and entertain people, has always fascinated me.

My hope is that I’ve inherited a little bit of the storytelling gene from him. He taught me that laughter is a great gift you can give others, and how important it is to look at the world around us and see the humour in life’s crazy situations.Father Louis and daughter Beverley

Feeling Your Feelings

Something my father was not very good at was feeling what he was feeling. This he taught me indirectly. He was somewhat of a dichotomy. He exuded great warmth, yet he was a very closed and insular man. It often felt like he put on a mask for the world around him, appearing like everything was okay, even when it was not. Maybe it was his way of protecting himself, a tool to survive.

I’ve wondered if he shut down his emotions as a young boy. As the story goes, at the age of four, he was in a closed room with his mother Miri when she caught on fire from the wood burning stove. There was speculation as to whether it was on purpose or accidentally. My father was too small to reach the door handle to open it and his cries and bangs on the door went unheard. He was trapped in the room and by the time help came, it was too late. His mother had burned to death. She was only 27.

That image continues to haunt me, leaving many unanswered questions. I can only imagine the permanent emotional scars that left him with and yet it’s something he never talked about or seemed to deal with. As a young girl, I was very shy and people mistook my shyness for aloofness. Like my father, I had difficulty expressing what I was feeling and by suppressing my emotions, it led to illness early in my teens. Over many years and lots of inner work, I’ve learned to feel and transform my emotions. Something my father never seemed to learn to do.

The Lesson of Health Person doing stretching to show how great it feels to be in our body

Perhaps the most important thing my father taught me indirectly was the importance of being proactive about our health. My father was like many people in that he didn’t purposely ignore his health, he just didn’t consciously pay attention to his health either. He rarely went to the doctor or dentist, unless he had some “crisis”.

It reminds me of how often people don’t pay attention to their health when it’s good, only taking action when they absolutely have to. As someone who’s had health issues from a young age, I’ve become very proactive not only for myself but as an advocate for people around me.

I know how easy it is to let our patterns and habits rule our behaviors. How so often we don’t make any moves to change things until we seemingly have no other choice but to pay attention. When our body or soul says, “No More” and we have to do something or face the consequences.

Being Proactive With Our Health

Imagine how much richer our lives would be if we made proactive choices for ourselves? Especially knowing that our lifestyle choices account for 70% of the health puzzle and genetics only 30%. We have so many options if we choose to take them. This is why I’m committed to supporting others to take their health seriously and make motivated choices. As a member of Dr. Christiane Northrop’s health and wellness team, it’s amazing to see how even small changes, make dramatic differences. If I can support you and your health, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

How I wish I knew then, what I know now. Maybe I could have helped my father to live a longer and healthier life. Wishful thinking. I’ve accepted this was his destiny in this lifetime. The wonderful thing is that his memory lives on in me and through all the lessons he left for me to share with the world.

What lessons have you learned from your parents?Father and child at the beach holding hands_father love

Beverley Golden

About Beverley Golden

Beverley Golden is a writer, storyteller, peacenik and health & vitality consultant, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health and wellness, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible, using her own experiences with a lifetime of health issues, to inspire and support others to live their life to the fullest.

You're invited to a Complimentary Health Consultation, starting with the True Health Assessment that offers a customized personalized snapshot of how healthy you are in the areas of lifestyle, heredity and nutrition. Contact me to get started!

120 Comments

  • Beverley I love the tribute to your father. I can see how much you are loved and how much you love. What a blessed gift!

    • Many thanks, Candess! Yes, I still feel my father’s energy around me all the time and my hope is he would have been proud of me. Love is love is love! It really never dies.

  • Oh my God…what an awful thing that happened to your father when he was a sprout. I cannot imagine his horror, and how that feeling of helplessness followed him his entire life. Not feeling what he was feeling is also a generational thing, especially among men. What a wonderful tribute to a complex man. And I’m sorry you lost him so early. xxoo

    • Thanks Jackie! I think you are right about men not feeling what they were feeling being generational. Times have changed thankfully changed and I’m always delighted to see men show their more sensitive side. He was a complex man and I appreciate hearing you enjoyed reading my tribute to him.

  • Yeah, it was Father’s Day. One of the main things I have learned from my father was to live simply. My siblings and I were raised to just be content with what we have even though our family can afford luxuries. I think it was valuable. Kinda made me easy going and can adapt to different things.

    • What a great lesson to learn from your father, Lorii! We certainly do not have a world where living simply seems easy to do. It’s wonderful to hear how that lesson has informed your life! Congratulations on embodying it!

  • Leila says:

    Thank you Beverley for sharing. It just brought back memories of my Father. While reading I got immersed in a wave of gratitude for everything our Fathers have done for us. Thank you for the lessons.

    • Thank you Leila! I am happy that reading this post brought back memories of your father. I agree with you about being eternally grateful for all our fathers have done for us.

  • Lovely! Interesting for me to read about your Dad dying so young. Mine dies when he was 49 and my husband’s father died when he was 50. Missing our fathers! I certainly learned the power of unconditional love from mine.

    • Thank you Pamela. It is interesting to read that both your dad and your husband’s dad died so young. I still miss my father even so many years later, so I understand how much you both miss having your dads in your lives. Yes, the power of unconditional love is a wonderful one to learn from our fathers, as so often men are not seen as the ‘love givers’ in the family. Here’s to fond lasting memories of our dads!

  • Pamela says:

    Beverley,

    Thanks so much for sharing the many beautiful lessons that your father taught you. He truly was a special man. … My father passed about one year ago just short of his 90th birthday. He taught me to believe in myself and made me think that anything is possible. He taught me courage, determination, focus and so much more! He loved me dearly and was proud of all of my accomplishments. I SOoo miss him.

    • Thank you so much, Pamela! How wonderful to have had your father in your life for so many years! My mother is now 102 and it is truly a blessing to have a parent with us for so long. It’s beautiful to hear that your father taught you to believe in yourself and to live in a place of unlimited possibilities. My mother is like that too and it is encouraging to have that influence in our lives. Your father sounds like an incredible man and a person who was very generous with his love and his support. I can only imagine how much you miss him…

  • It was interesting to read this again with new eyes. From a female perspective, it’s hard to understand how men think and how they become transform from boys into men. Each with their own outlook and responsibility in their generation. You had a wonderful transformative father.

    • Thank you Joyce! I appreciate that you took the time to read it again and to offer your perspective again. It is very challenging to look at how boys evolve into men and what I also find fascinating is how times have changed and we now see that men are accepting their feminine side and are willing to work for a balance between their masculine and feminine. This changes the dynamic for not only them, but for everyone who is in their lives!

  • This is truly awesome Bev and typically parents do have unconditional love.. however, not all of us are blessed with that relationship. A parent is one that loves unconditionally and supports you in all that you do, but it isn’t always that they do… so then they just become a donor. Sadly

    • We do often believe that parents are those who offer us unconditional love and sadly, not all kids have that experience with theirs. I think whatever our experiences are we can learn how we don’t want to be, and then choose a different way to be with our kids. I believe that is what you’ve done, Kristen! Bravo for being able to be a parent who shows their kids unconditional love!

  • What a lovely story about your father, Beverley. We always learn a lot from our parents whether we are aware of it or not. My mother has had most influence always teaching to be independent and don’t be afraid to go your own way. She always wanted to study music and go to university but my grandfather, as many other in that period, thought the proper school was a girl school for learning how to run a household. My father was an intelligent person but not so strong as a person, and I believed he had wanted to study too and do something else but ended up becoming a farmer because it was expected of them.

    • Thanks so much for sharing about your mother and father, Katarina. I think many people of their generation didn’t fully pursue the passions they wanted to. My mother wanted to be a dancer, but that wasn’t possible either. We do learn from our parents and often it is things we ‘don’t’ want to be like, along with things we do admire and emulate. I always trust that we learn exactly what we need to from our parents and that they are there as mirrors for us to grow and learn.

  • Thank you for sharing your dad with us. I think we can wonder what we could have done to “fix” our parents – best we can do is to learn from them – good and bad and be very grateful. My dad loved me unconditionally too and sometimes that wasn’t so easy. He was a good man and a great example of a human being. Thanks for giving us all pause to reflect.

    • I agree with you Cathy! Most of going back and looking for ways we can ‘fix’ things, is wishful thinking. It’s wonderful to have a dad who loved you unconditionally and to see him as a good man and a good human being. Happy to know I offered a moment of pause for you to select too.

  • It seems you have some great things you have learned from your father. Now, I get to think about what I have learned from my father. The main thing that comes to mind is to be spendthrift though I cannot say I learned that well. I spend for travel.

    • Thanks Lorii! Yes, my father was a great teacher for me, although I feel that I didn’t know him long enough. It’s a great exercise to reflect and see how our parents influenced us from time to time. It could be that your father being a spendthrift mirrored the opposite for you. And I know how much you love to spend money on travel! Enjoy!

  • What an absolutely beautiful tribute to an amazing man, Beverley. I lost both my parents in 2012 and my dad influenced me SO much. I love that your had taught you style and the value of health. Sometimes, we learn the hard way, don’t we!?! Sometimes, what others experience gives us reason to pause and change course. I smiled big when I saw how your dad taught you about unconditional LOVE. THAT’S priceless… it all is. Love this piece.

    • Thanks so much for your supportive comment, Tandy! I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to lose both your parents in the same year. It is always a time to reflect back and see the amazing lessons we learned from them. I agree that often we learn things because of who they were not, as well as who they were. And Unconditional love, truly is the most priceless lesson we can learn from a parent. My dad was it for me. Thanks again and I appreciate your beautiful support.

  • Alene Geed says:

    I loved reading this amazing tribute to your father. He taught you to become the woman you now are. This brings to mind memories of my own Dad and his many gifts that shaped me

    • Thank you Alene! I really appreciate your kind words after reading this post. I’m also happy it brought back memories of your own dad and how he shaped you and the woman you are.

  • Kimberly says:

    Lovely, Beverley! Your father had a wonderful impact on you, even though your time with him was too short!
    I love Christiane Northrup – I went to her clinic when I lived in Maine back in the 90’s 🙂 I know you are helping a lot of people with her work!

    • Thanks so much Kimberly! My father was such a gentle soul and of all the things, that has stayed with me and something I appreciate in men. And yes, Christiane Northrup truly is a fierce leader for women and we have many people on our team in Maine. I had the pleasure of meeting her when she was in Toronto and she is lovely! My intention is to help support people with their health and to be the healthiest version of themselves they can be! Thanks for seeing that.

  • Beverley,

    A great article and brings back a lot of memories of my dad, too. I am happy to say that my father was a wonderful man and we spent a lot of quality time together , he has taught me so many valuable lessons about life and being kind to others. I also am grateful for his take on life and respect what he believed. His values have made me into the woman I am today and I will always be grateful for this. Thanks for posting this.
    Lori English

    • Thanks so much Lori! I am so happy this post brought back wonderful memories of the time you and your father spent together. It sounds like you have many wonderful memories of the quality time and the lessons he offered you. It’s a great testament to him that you honour the values he had and see them as having contributed to the woman you are today! Lovely!

  • Meghan says:

    What a lovely tribute to your father. He certainly left the world too soon. I can tell from your description how much you care for him and how deeply disappointed you are to have missed experiencing him as an adult. He left you with many treasures, however. You are a gifted storyteller who is never shy when it comes to the written word. Thanks for sharing a bit of your soul with your readers.

    • Thanks so much for you kind words, Meghan! When I think about my father I do feel sad that he wasn’t with us longer. I appreciate hearing that you feel I have inherited his gift of storytelling. That really means a lot to me, because as you know, I love sharing stories with others in hopes that it offers a new perspective or something that uplifts and inspires!

  • This is such a poignant story Beverley. What an incredible tribute to your father. It moved me into a nostalgic space. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • Thank you so much for your very sweet words, Candess! I appreciate knowing that reading about my father moved you into a very nostalgic space. Hopefully it is a sweet space too.

  • Very powerful. Sounds like your dad was an amazing man and taught you a lot. Love is so strong. My dad was a strong influence in my life and my husband is a powerful influence in my daughter’s life. Looking forward to my son passing this along to the next generation.
    Christy Soukhamneut recently posted…Pearly’s New Pad – Diving Right InMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Christy! I really appreciate your thoughts on this post on my father. He was a wonderful man and gone much too soon. It sounds like you’ve had very strong males in your life and I imagine having such a strong influence from your father, also was an influence in how you ultimately chose your husband. It’s wonderful that your husband is a powerful influence in your daughter’s life and that you see that your son will continue the family tradition too.

  • My dad was one of those people who never met a stranger. As a pre-teen and teenager, I was absolutely mortified that my dad would strike up conversations with every person he saw. Of course, today I am very much like him; I can stand behind someone at the grocery store and within 5 minutes learn some of the most intimate details of their lives. He also had a great sense of humor; he really know how to tell a joke. I get that from him, too.

    • You father sounds fabulous, Jackie! I understand why a pre-teen would be mortified when their parent struck up a conversation with everyone they met, but I’m happy to hear that somehow you have embodied that in who you are. It is a lovely way to be in the world, as I find I do the same thing. It shows people trust you, which is another wonderful quality. You have a wonderful sense of humour indeed, and it’s great to hear it came from having a father with a wonderful sense of humour. I can totally relate. Thanks for sharing a bit about your father and how he impacted you.

  • Dear Beverley,
    I appreciate your father already. I have been married to a kind, gentle man for 38 years. Because he’s not loud or flashy, I think his greatest attributes often get overlooked (even by our adult children, on occasion). Anyway, to have a man who loves his family with all his heart and soul is a blessing. Since I did not grow up with this, I share your absolute appreciation for what a great gift it is.
    On a different note, the story of your father being in the room during his mother’s horrific death sent chills down my spine! I grew up with coal-burning (very dangerous!) and wood burning stoves – things can get out of hand very quickly! Thank goodness we’ve upgraded!
    Joan Potter recently posted…Happy Memorial DayMy Profile

    • Thanks for your lovely comment about my father, Joan. It sounds like you are married to someone who also embodies that kind and gentle spirit. How wonderful for you both. I do not think our world, honours men like this…although my hope is that we are starting to understand and encourage men to balance their masculine and feminine sides. It is a blessing to have men like this. One of the reasons I had hoped to have a son, was to raise a man who was kind and gentle and not afraid to show that to the world.

      The story of my father witnessing his mother’s death is very horrific. Each time I attempt to envision it, I am left feeling unsettled. Yes, back in those days, 1920, I imagine a wood burring stove was the only option and that things could get radically out of hand in a short amount of time. Thanks for your tender heart and for always sharing more about yourself.

  • Beverley, what a beautiful tribute to your dad. It touched my heart as my father had some of those gentle loving qualities too – and I have been in the search for that ‘kind’ of love in my life as well. I have come to realise that some of those deep longings might never be filled in this lifetime. Aren’t we both blessed to know that our children Lani and Keldon have parents who are still alive and who love them so well, in so many ways. Thanks for sharing your gift of writing with the world. With love to you my friend. xoxo

    • Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, Kelita. I’ve also come to realize that maybe this deep longing for someone like my father, might not happen in this lifetime, just as you say. I agree that Lani and Keldon are fortunate to have parents who love them still here. And I’m grateful Lani has at least one grandparent in my mother, who loves her unconditionally too. I really appreciate your support for me and my writing and value our long friendship. It feels like it is eternal and I know it is meant to last our lifetimes…maybe beyond! Love you too. xoxo

  • I find that even today my relationship is evolving with my father, although I lost him over 40 years ago, before I was a fully formed adult. So as I grown and changed, my perspective on what I understand about him has also shifted. What never shifts is the deep-seated, foundational love between us … you know the one I mean. 😉

    • I found you comment very intriguing, Sharon, as I hadn’t thought of my relationship with my father as continuing to evolve. Of course it is, as we grow, so does our relationship even with our loved ones who are no longer with us. I love how you framed this, as it really resonates with me. That as you have grown and changed, your perspective and understanding of him, has also changed. What never changes is the “deep-seated, foundational love between us”. Yes, I really do know what that means and feels like. Thanks! 🙂

  • Hi, Beverley

    What a fantastic tribute to a father.

    Glad that you are blessed to have had a nice parent like that. The gift of his story telling is unusual. That sure can enrich your live.

    The unconditional love is so important to have.

    Thanks for presenting a positive story like this.

    Stella Chiu

    • Thank you so much for your kind words about this tribute to my father, Stella. I feel very fortunate to have had such an amazing role model of a gentle man. And yes, his storytelling gift is such a wonderful trait to have witnessed. Unconditional love is perhaps the most important thing all children need to feel growing up. I appreciate hearing that you found this a positive piece as well. Very much appreciated.

  • Gilly says:

    Beverley I just love your writing, you definitely inherited great storytelling. Your next book is going to be really good! This was so engaging, relateable and heartfelt. Loved it! My Dad left us in 2011, there are so many things that he did that shines through me. We used to joke, he brought babies into the world being Obgyn and I worked on the other end of the spectrum teaching young children. It’s funny how we didn’t do the same thing, but both had a fascination for the guidance children. I really miss my Dad, he was the humblest man I’ve ever known.
    Gilly recently posted…Remedies for ChafingMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for sharing more about your father, Gilly! He sounds wonderful and it sounds like you inherited his love of children and of being of service to them too. It is funny how you chose to follow in his footsteps in your own way. Lovely! I love hearing about other humble and gentle men, as that doesn’t seem to be the norm for the generation they grew up in. I understand about missing him too. Even 49 years later, I really miss my father. Thanks for the comment about my next book too! Very appreciated.

  • Beverley thank you for sharing your Father and Your sharing of his gentleness reminded me of my father a very gentle man who I also learned unconditional love from. Such an important learning for all and the gift that is so special . Thank you xxoo
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…Abundance is a FeelingMy Profile

    • Thank you Suzie! I so appreciate you sharing that you also had a gentle father and that you learned about unconditional love from him. Such a gift that we had bestowed on us. What a wonderful world if each child knew it was loved unconditionally. xo

  • Oh, what a blessing of a such a wonderful father Beverley. You have a lot to grateful for as he sounds like he was a great leader…which is much needed in this very confused culture we live in.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…Things I Wish I’d Known About BusinessMy Profile

    • Thanks for your support for this post, Rachel. My dad was the kind of leader our world could definitely use now. He was gentle and kind and that was not considered “strong” back then. I agree that great leaders have a warmth and humanity to them and I know that is why people loved my father.

  • What a moving story, Beverley. Thank you. I’m so happy you have such a deep soul connection with your father. That is rare, I’m sure. I was born on the same day of the year as my mother, but not the same year. I’m sure the odds for that are quite small too.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Sandra. Yes, the soul connection is both challenging to put into words and harder to lose as well. I have a friend whose youngest daughter was born the same day as her, and I think it is quite rare. My grandmother had 6 children, my mother being the middle one. She had one son and he was also born on the same day as her. Needless to say, he was her joy being an only son and also sharing a birthday with her.

  • What a wonderful story and sorry that you lost your father when he was so young! My father and I didn’t see eye to eye as a teen or young mom but as he ‘grew up’ we started talking more and having heart to hearts and through my child rearing (of my children), it was HE who stood by my side and supported me while my mother stabbed me in the back. I am like my father.. and I value the relationship he and I have.
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Have You Started on Your Email List Yet – Well WTH Not?My Profile

    • Thanks so much for sharing more about your father, Kristen. I love hearing how he somehow came around (grew up) and was there to support you during your child rearing. That is lovely! I’m sorry to hear your mother hasn’t been there for you though. I also think I am like my father and I know exactly why you value the relationship you now have with him. Enjoy each other.

  • I think in some ways its harder to write about our fathers than our mothers. After I left and would call home, my father would be very brief and hand the phone to my mother. Later, I learned he relied on her for all the information about what was happening in my life. Sad, we had this distant relationship. I guess each daughter has her own unique relationship with her father. Your father’s storytelling gift obviously has been passed on to you. Thank you for sharing your warm relationship with your father, as Father’s day approaches.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Using the power word “because” in your businessMy Profile

    • That’s a very interesting observation, Joyce. I hadn’t thought of it being easier to write about my mother, as I just thought for me, it was because she was still here. Thinking about your comment, you are probably correct. I have so many anecdotal stories similar to the one you shared about your dad handing your mother the phone to talk with you when you called. That generation was just not as involved with their children, as we find fathers of today are. I’m sorry to hear you had a distant relationship with your father, and I am hearing how unique each father/daughter relationship is just from the feedback and comments I have received. And I do thank you for recognizing that my father’s storytelling gift lives on in me. That really means a lot to me. Appreciate your support as always!

  • Wow. Your father and my father sound very similar. My dad taught me the value of honesty (and bluntness, as he was not a fan of schmoozing), and he loved it when something made him laugh from surprise. He was also a little “closed” when it came to displaying emotions until later in life. I’m glad you can write such a wonderful tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • It’s interesting to hear how from describing my father, other people see their own father in him and this piece, Liz. Thanks for sharing that. Your dad had a gift if he could be blunt and to the point, I am not sure my father had that capacity. It’s interesting that he was closed with his emotions, but came out of himself more as he got older. Appreciate your support for this piece, as it brought up so many emotions in me and I am very happy to finally share my father with others. 🙂

  • Beautiful reflections on the lessons your Father taught you. My Dad has been gone for almost 18 years now and he too is a part of me. I doubt that will ever change. For me the love of story of anyone you meet is the biggest thing I learned. He loved to sit in the Mall while my Mom shopped so he could start up a conversation with anyone who sat with him. Then he told us the stories on the way home. People are what matter and their stories make them who they are.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Karen. I appreciate you sharing how your father taught you about the love of story and how he enjoyed striking up conversations with people, to later share with you and your family. I firmly believe that people are the essence of our lives and agree that their stories are so very important to preserve and share.

  • Thank you for sharing your story about your father and how much he really influenced you, Beverley 🙂

    It is so amazing how our fathers really DO influence us, whether positive or negative.

    Like you, I thought for sure I would marry someone like my dad, and I did, my first marriage and the father of my own 2 kids……BUT I realized something that all of the negative traits that were in my own father were also in my husband and I made a commitment to myself that one day I would find enough strength and move on from my marriage. After 15 years and 2 kids I found that courage, but looking back on that time in my life now, I wonder if it REALLY was the right thing for me to do?

    Your post got me thinking about my own father, and my relationship I now have with him (who thank god is still alive!) He just turned 77 on June 9th and still going!

    Wonderful post my friend!

    Hugs,
    Joan
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    • Whether you think about it or not Joan, yes, our fathers definitely have an influence on us. I appreciate you sharing how looking for and then marrying someone like your father, didn’t ultimately work out as you had envisioned it would. However, when we are younger, we do marry people partly to procreate and you do have two wonderful children from that union. It is courageous to be able to walk away and I find it interesting that you also have some possible doubts as to whether leaving him was the “right” thing to do.

      I am very happy this post got you reflecting about your father and your relationship with him. You are very fortunate to have him still here with you. It offers you the chance to continue building whatever relationship with him that you want to. Being born on June 9th, he is a Gemini and I wonder if he had the two sides to his personality the way most Gemini people do. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed this post and for your ongoing enthusiasm and support!

      Hugs to you too!

  • Millen says:

    There is so much love, tenderness and kindness in the way you write about your father, Beverley! I can FEEL your love for him… It is especially touching for me to read because my experience with my father was very different… very challenging to say the least… I have never been told or ever felt loved by him… I always felt that “I am not enough” in his presence…. He passed away at a very young age of 62… from liver cancer (although he was not a drinker). Your article brought these feelings back and Ii had to remind myself that he did the best he knew how… I forgave… and still love and appreciate him as my father.

    • Thank you so much Millen! I so appreciate hearing that you feel the love and tenderness in this post. Yes, I really love and loved him. From all the comments I have gotten, it seems that people either have wonderful relationships with their parents, or not. There doesn’t seem to be an in between. Sorry to hear that yours with your father was challenging and that you never felt like you were enough for him. That must have been very hard indeed. When you said he died of liver cancer, and knowing that the liver is the seat of anger, I wonder if that was something that contributed to his temperament. It is wonderful that in spite of it, you have forgiven your dad and are able to stand back and see that he did the best he could and to be able to love and appreciate him because he was your father. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  • While I am so sorry you lost your father far too early, you are fortunate to have had him as long as you did, and to have such warm memories of him to cherish. I wasn’t at all surprised to read that he didn’t express his feelings since most men over a certain age generally don’t. Personally, I tend to think that trait as being more of a cultural thing than generational. Anyway, thank you for sharing your father with us Beverley!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Reflections on Life’s Simple PleasuresMy Profile

    • Thanks Marquita! I appreciate your kind words. I also believe that the generation my father came from didn’t show their emotions and I see how the early trauma really impacted that as well. Yes, it was very specific to a period of time and probably cultural as well, as you say. You’re welcome and I am delighted you got to read this piece about my father.

  • Lisa says:

    Beverley…love, love, love this post. To me the relationship that we have …or don’t have with our father’s is the most important for a woman. My father was my hero on many levels, he was not perfect but a good man. I am so sorry for your early loss of this great man. I know you will always hold a special place in your heart for your dad, thanks for sharing.
    Lisa recently posted…Destination Wedding or NotMy Profile

    • Thank you for your very exuberant comment and response to this post, Lisa! It means a lot to me. I agree with you that whether the relationship is good or not good, our father is a very important role model for girls. Your father sounds like he was a wonderful father for you, just by you saying he was your hero on many levels. That’s lovely. People don’t have to be perfect to be a good person. I will always hold my dad very close to my heart, as I feel he is still with me all the time.

  • Jane says:

    Beautiful sharing thank you it moved me deeply especially regarding your father witnessing his Mothers death, how shocking for anyone let alone a small child to witness that. It probably wasn’t handled well i.e. covered up and never talked about. No wonder whenever showed his feelings.❤

    • Thank you so much Jane. I appreciate hearing that this piece moved you deeply. I hear how reading about him witnessing his mother’s death had a similar impact on you as it has on me. I cannot imagine how that impacted him for the rest of his life and how he buried his emotions very deep within.

  • Andrea says:

    I really can’t add much to the conversation. Thank you for a lovely, love-filled post. Just beautiful.
    Andrea recently posted…Wild Flowers and WeedsMy Profile

    • Thank you very much Andrea! You have added to the conversation just by reading this and sharing that you found the post lovely and love-filled. That is beautiful for me to know.

  • Teresa says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to your father Beverley. It is so beautiful to read what he has taught you – whether directly or indirectly. I cannot say I have learned the same nor have the same regards you do – and I have had 3 father figures. My story is so much different with my takeways more on the indirect side. Thank you or sharing with such love and honor, it was a pleasure to read.
    Teresa recently posted…Past RelationshipMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Teresa! I appreciate hearing hat you enjoyed this tribute to my father and found it beautiful to read. It seems it evoked many emotions from those who have read it. It sounds like you had the influence of 3 different fathers and that has had an interesting impact on your life. Your kind words make me feel like it was worth going deep within, to write this piece to share my father with others.

  • Latrelle says:

    Just beautiful, Beverley. I am wiping away tears.

    My father was born in 1930. He still wears a fedora, always has a hanky, and also exudes a class that no longer exists. They definitely don’t make men like that anymore.

    This was so heartwarming. Thank you for sharing your memories and your beautiful dream 🙂
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    • Thank you so much for letting me know how touched you were by reading this post about my father, Latrelle! That means a lot of me. I love hearing about your father and he really does sound a lot like my dad, even though they were born a generation apart. They really don’t make men like that anymore. Strengths and flaws, it was a very different generation. I also appreciate hearing that you found the post heartwarming and were touched by this recurring dream I have about him. 🙂

  • What an incredible tribute to your Dad, Beverley. You painted such a loving portrait that shared the whole man, the dapper appearance, the loving heart and the personal tragedy that made up the whole. You certainly share in his gift of storytelling! xo, Reba
    Reba Linker recently posted…Small is the New BigMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Reba! I love what you took away from this piece about my father. Yes, he was a whole person, even if there were very closed parts of him that I rarely got to see. Somehow I still felt him and his wholeness though. I appreciate hearing that you see how I share in his gift of storytelling also. As you probably know, that means a lot to me. xo

  • Thank you for sharing your dad. He is a wonderful guy, who in spirit walks along side smiling and still telling his stories through you. xoxo
    Natasha Botkin recently posted…Why You Should Revel in Your Headstrong DaughterMy Profile

    • Thank you for such a lovely comment, Natasha. He was a wonderful person and your words about his spirit walking along side me and smiling, while telling his stories, really was felt and received. I do believe you are right about that. xo

  • I had to step away before responding to your tribute to your Dad. Growing up without my father left an an impact on me. I would have liked your Dad. I had uncles who he minded me of & they were the closest I had to a Dad. Both knew how to show their love & acceptance of me, just not with words. It was a generational thing.
    We are all products of our parents, households we grow up in and then it is up to us whether we are victimized by our past or place it in the past. You have taken the best.

    • You always have such a healthy way of looking at your life and of transforming even the not so wonderful times, into personal strength, Roslyn. You uncles sound like they were lovely surrogates fathers to you. Being shown love and respect is so crucial for all children and young adults and as you say, it isn’t only about words. It is a feeling and a knowing. Yes, we are all product of our parent and the households we grow up in and it is ultimately up to us to make our way and become the best version of the person we want to be. Thanks for your love and support. xo

  • What a wonderful man, and such a great loss so early. But one thing I can tell you for true, Beverley, is that you DID get that storytelling gene from him! It just shines through, and I love hearing where it came from 🙂
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…The Joys Of Creating Are In The JourneyMy Profile

    • Thank you SO much, Susan! I really appreciate hearing that you see the storytelling gene in me, as that is one thing I truly loved about my father. It’s very encouraging for me, knowing that you are seeing the best and brightest in the storytelling field. Happy to hear that it shines through, and yes, it comes from my dear father. 🙂

  • This is a lovely post, Beverley! One lesson I learned from both my parents how to pick natural food at the grocery store. We used very little can items in our home growing up and I continue the tradition with my kids. Each child knows how to pick fresh fruit and veggies at the grocery store or at the farm. They also know how to cook meals from scratch. I hope they continue to eat healthy and simply when they aren’t at home.
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    • Thanks so much Sabrina! Happy you enjoyed this post. That’s wonderful to know that your parents taught you about picking fresh food at the grocery store. It’s fabulous that you are passing that on to your children and that they are aware of how to pick both fresh fruit and veggies wherever they are. Cooking meals from scratch is really impressive too! My wish is that they do continue to keep these healthy habits when they aren’t at home. I like to believe that good habits have a way of superseding any temptations to stray.

  • Wendy says:

    Reading this made me cry because it sounds very much like my dad and the relationship we had.

    • That is so touching for me to hear, Wendy! Thanks for letting me know that this post brought tears to your eyes and that it reminded you of your dad and the relationship you had with with.

  • Such a lovely tribute to your Dad, Beverley. Interestingly, I noticed that our Dads had many qualities in common (including not wanting to go to the doctor) . Mine died at the young age of 64 almost 12 years ago and while I had the pleasure of knowing him for a longer period, I know that when we are given unconditional love from our parents (I was a hard core rebel 🙂 ) one lifetime is never enough.

    Happy Fathers’ Day, Beverley. I bet our Papas are reading this blog post and having a laugh about how they are still numero unos for their daughters.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Releasing Energy Blockages When you are having a Blah DayMy Profile

    • I so appreciate hearing that you enjoyed this tribute to my dad, Vatsala. It is wonderful to hear that you saw a bit of your father in my father as far as similar qualities too. I agree that unconditional love is such a treasure for a child and I think for me, it was as much about the way I felt about him, as what I felt from him. The few short years I had with him, are definitely do not feel like enough for me, although I am grateful I had someone like him.

      Happy Father’s Day to you as well. I love your vision of our Dads feeling the energy of this post and having a laugh knowing that their daughters still hold them as number one in their hearts.

  • Beverley, you wrote a lovely tribute to your father. I remember as a child that I never went to sleep unless my dad was home. He was never very late and so that was possible. Just church meetings; he was a minister. I always felt secure when he was home. I think those of us who were lucky enough to have kind and gentle fathers equated them with feeling safe.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…How to Create RapportMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Beth. I appreciate hearing that you found this a lovely tribute to my father. I love hearing about your father and how you wouldn’t go to sleep until you knew he was home. I agree that having a gentle and kind father does give a child a sense of feeling safe and secure. How fortunate we both are to have had fathers like that in our lives.

  • Elizabeth O says:

    You shared such a moving, heartwarming tribute to your Dad and I’m sure he would have been proud of you if he could read this. The portion on his mother, Miri, is also quite haunting and might have a hand in what you shared about him. <3

    • Thanks so much for that lovely comment, Elizabeth. I appreciate that you found this tribute moving and heartwarming. I agree with you that the incident with his mother, Miri, must have played a big part in his emotional life and it definitely still haunts me when I try to imagine what that must have been like for him. Many thank for your sensitive comment.

  • Tamuria says:

    This is a lovely tribute to your father Beverley. Clearly you inherited his talent for storytelling and I always enjoy reading your posts. I think it’s great you mentioned the lessons he taught you indirectly, they can sometimes be the most important ones. My father left when I was eight and the relationship we had after that was stressful. It’s wonderful you have such lovely memories of your dad.
    Tamuria recently posted…HOW TO MAKE A SMILING SHARK, A CUDDLY OCTOPUS AND MOREMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for seeing some of my father in my storytelling abilities Tami. I appreciate your support and your comments on all my posts. Yes, I think we all learn things indirectly from our parents, even if we might not be consciously aware of them until we look for them. Sorry to hear that your father left when you were so young and that it remained a stressful situation to keep a relationship with him. I feel grateful to have such wonderful memories of my father, although it would have been amazing to have him with us for much longer than he was. It’s amazing to me that my mother lived on and is now 100. She’s lived 49 years without him.

  • My dad passed away when I was 15. There are many life lessons he has taught me that I’m now teaching my own kids. Your father sounds like an amazing person.
    Marielle Altenor recently posted…Affiliate Programs: Tips For Choosing The Right One For YouMy Profile

    • Sorry to hear you lost your father when you were so young as well Marielle. It’s wonderful that you are carrying on his legacy and passing the lessons he taught you on to your kids now. My father was a wonderful man and he left much too soon.

  • Pat Moon says:

    I believe many people in our parents generation were quiet about their deep feelings. I know my own Daddy was that way. I knew he loved me and I loved him yet, the words of deep emotions were never shared. My Daddy was also a great storyteller. He had a brother that was only 2 years older. Our delight, up until my uncle passed away at the age of 78, was to sit around the kitchen table and listen to the 2 of them tell stories about the mischievous things they did during their growing up years. They could always see the fun part of every situation. How I wish I could recall those stories! I am thankful I had my Daddy for many years… he died 3 weeks before his 88th birthday when I was 58. Blessed memories.

    • Reading some of the comments, I see how that was a generation of men especially, who kept their emotions very deeply hidden, Pat. I love hearing that your father was a great storyteller too. How wonderful to have been able to sit around a kitchen table and have him and your uncle tell you kids stories. That is truly a gift and I imagine you have some amazing memories, and stories, that came out of those kitchen table gatherings. It’s also wonderful to hear that they saw the fun in all situations. Event though you can’t recall the stories I would guess they are somewhere deep within you and part of who you are. He lived a long life and I feel how much love you have for him. Yes, blessed memories indeed.

  • Leigh Anne says:

    What a sweet post! The lessons we learn, most of them, are so special. I learned that unconditional love is so important.

    • Of all our lessons Leigh Anne, I think unconditional love is such a key one for us all. For all children to feel that from a parent. Thanks for your lovely comment about this tribute post to my father.

  • Barb J. says:

    This is such a powerful post and I thank you for sharing it. A father’s love is so very special. You’ve reminded me how much I miss my own dad…

    • Thanks so much Barb, as I’m happy you found this to be a powerful post. I agree that a father’s love is very special in a daughter’s life and I’m also glad this reminded you of your dad and how much you miss him.

  • Tina says:

    beautifully written Beverley. What a gift you were given to have known such a man. My dad sadly was wonderful to those outside the immediate family and he was not awful to us but my parents marriage was not great and I became heavily influenced by my mother’s thoughts and feelings. I did get a chance to live with my dad on my own after I graduated University which was good. I got to know him with out outside influence.
    But sadly he too went through some horrible stuff as a child as well and although he didn’t talk about it someone else did. He just couldn’t be the dad we needed him to be. When he died of a heart attack at 55 years old my brothers and I spend a week on the phone working through our emotions.
    The conclusion we came up with is that he was a good man just not the kind of dad we needed him to be. In spite of all of that, he worked hard, he was great at what he did, he was quite supportive of our sports and my education and he was loved by many.
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    • Your comment is a lovely tribute to your own father, Tina. It sounds like in spite of him not being the kind of father you and your brothers needed, you were able to come to some peace with who he was and could objectively see his good traits. I see how our parental relationships are always so impactful on our lives and how many people seem to have similar stories about their relationships. They seem to either be good or not good. There is rarely anything in-between. I’m happy to hear you got to spend time with him outside of any external influences too. The fact that you can now say he was a good man and he worked hard and was supportive of your sports and education, shares the up side of your memories. Thanks for your openness to sharing so much.

  • Liz Mays says:

    This was so very sweet, and your dad had a lot of characteristics that remind me of my own dad. I miss him very much, so this hit me hard. I’m so sorry you’ve lost him.

    • My sense is that men of a certain generation had similar ways of being in the world, so I am happy you saw some of your father in this post about my father, Liz. I am sorry it hit you hard and hopefully it also brought up some wonderful memories. I feel sad not to have known my father all these years and feel that for you too.

  • What a beautiful story, there is no doubt you have a great dad. My dad died when I was a baby so I never had him beside me. But my mom was a wonderful mom and dad and she taught me all I know and made the person that I am now. Unconditional love is what I got from her.
    Adriana Lopez-Martin recently posted…Key Lime Pie PopsiclesMy Profile

    • It must be so hard to have lost your dad when you were a baby, Adriana. A whole life missed with him. I feel fortunate to have had my father in my life for the time he was here, but I miss him so very much and writing this post brought up a lot of those memories and feelings. It sounds like your mother was quite a marvellous lady and that you credit her with influencing you and helping you become the person you are now. Yes, unconditional love is powerful and how wonderful to have received that from your dear mother.

  • Great lessons from what seems like a great man. It is great that you are able to remember all that you have learned from him.

    • Thanks Bernadette. Because he has been gone for such a long time, I’m really happy that the things I learned from him live on so strongly too.

  • Michele says:

    My Mom will be 94 in November and is in great shape mentally-although she is beginning to have a couple of health issues which she nips in the bud as quickly as possible . If not–well she just more or less ignores it and keeps on keeping on-In reality she is in better shape then I am. My Dad also died of a heart attack at the age of 50. I have never truly gotten over it–He was a paper salesman–guess those sales jobs must have been really stressful although you would never have known it if you knew my Dad.

    • Your experience with your mother and father sound very similar to mine, Michele. When my father died, no-one had ever lost a parent at such a young age before. I don’t think I have ever gotten over my father’s death either. I think the times were much harder in many ways. Men kept their emotions hidden and had to work hard to support their families. I also find that many women who are in their 90s now, lost their husbands at a young age and have lived independently on their own since then. Fascinating for me to study too. Like your dad, my dad always seemed as if everything was okay…that was just part of the way they coped with life. Thanks for sharing about your mother and father too!

  • Jenn says:

    These are great lessons and laughter is so important! I understand the ones we learn indirectly too, sometimes we learn from what not to do when we are adults from our parents.

    • That’s what became so apparent to me while I was reflecting on what I had learned from my father, Jenn. Yes, to laughter and a sense of humour, as I see how that has become so important to me in my own life. It is interesting to see what we learn indirectly not to do, just by observing our parents. Thanks for seeing this in this post.

  • Unconditional love is truly a precious gift that one gets from both parents. It is definitely something I want my sons to learn and have for one another.

    • That is lovely and I thank you for taking this from my piece. Yes, unconditional love is a precious gift and I love your desire to ensure your sons feel it from you and then for each other.

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