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CHARACTER

Imparting Wisdom

My father died on December 18, 2003, when I was 12-years-old. Granted, I was not able to know my father for a big portion of my life, yet I acquired much wisdom from this great man's life and from what he had imparted to me. My father was a co-entrepreneur. He had a business he ran almost completely himself. His colleague who he went into the business with would usually only work from 10am to 1pm. My father would get up in the mornings and leave at 6:30am, working from then until 5pm. That's 10-11 hours, five days a week.

When the business got into trouble, being in-debt, he would worry a lot, and didn't take good care of himself. When he died, his demise was due to liver and kidney damage. The liver damage turned out to be hereditary. His mother and father died from it, as well as his brother who died in the 1970s due to it.

What he taught me was indelible, however. He advocated kindness, respect, self-respect, generosity, and hard work. He would often tell me that nobody gets truly anywhere in life without working hard. He valued education. He was a math whiz. But the one thing that stands out the most that he taught me—besides working hard—was to never drink. The years before he died, he told me to stay COMPLETELY away from drugs and alcohol. And I've done just that. Because of my father's wisdom, I've made a vow to myself (and posthumously to him) that I will never consume any drugs or alcohol.

Every day he would tell me and my mother that he loved us. He appreciated us more than many appreciate their families. During the last few months of his life, when he was sick (and none of us knew how sick, not even him), he would will himself out of bed to play a few games of the video game Madden NFL with me.

In November 2001, my father and I were going to a pro wrestling show. We had two extra tickets, and my Dad was going to sell them. There were many people asking to purchase tickets, but my Dad passed up on several opportunities. While looking around, he spotted a man and his son. My father walked up to them and asked, "Need tickets?" and handed them over the two extra tickets at no charge.

During Christmas 2001, I was sick with a cold. So on Christmas Eve, while I was lying asleep (this was at around 8:30/9:00 at night), starting to wake up, my Dad said, "Go ahead and open your XBOX." I did, and we played the video game NFL Fever. This was significant because he was spontaneous in his actions, making me feel better by giving me a pleasant surprise.

One day, in November 2003 (a month before he passed), it was freezing cold and snowing. We were in the Wal-Mart parking lot getting ready to leave when we seen a family in their van about 25 feet away from us. People were walking by them, staring at them. Their van had broken down. And while others were walking by, staring at the people who were in anything but an unfortunate situation, my Dad got out of the van and stood in the freezing cold while helping the people get their car started.

My father's wisdom has impacted me tremendously, and I will carry it with me forever.

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What I get from this lesson is that in order to have a better world we have to stand up, be the leader, and show everyone else the way by example. Excellent story! Your father would be very proud.
Jason R., Dallas, TX

That love is all there is, is all we know of love. You were loved, so now you can be loving of yourself and others.
Walt S., Martinez, Ca

Wow! He didn't just give you a fish, he really taught you how. Now all you have to do is plant seeds. You are indeed rich!! Thanks for sharing. Blessings...
Jacqueline C., Tennessee

Your father is truly a hero in every right. In this day and age where time is scarce, your father seemed to have made the best use of time and "seize the day" to spend with you and your family. As a result, he left you all precious moments spent with him. In my opinion, he truly embodied the word "father" in all respects.
Henry M, Riverside, CA

Actions speak louder than words. Sounds like your father was a real man of character and you are his mirror image. Thank you.
Jeanie G., Durham, NC

The fruit doesn't fall too far from the tree. You are made of the same fiber... Thank you for sharing a part of your father's legacy.
Dana E., San Francisco

Your story about your father reminds me of my own. Thank you for sharing your memories bringing with it reflection and adoration for all the gifts our fathers have brought.
Marco M., Central Valley, CA

What a fantastic example. Keep up your positive attitude and continue to help others. I love it!
Ashley M,, Mesa, AZ