My dad had an extraordinary way of making people feel special. I’m confident that every person who has talked with him – even if for only a few minutes – will remember him for a lifetime. There was just something about him that left an impression on you that you’d never forget. You could tell by the way people lit up when they saw him.
I’m proud to say that a person who has had such a profound impact on everyone he’s met is my dad. He showed me that if you continually work to be the best person you can be, you could evoke that aspiration in others. When you spend time with someone like my dad who is always happy, always busy bringing new ideas to life, and always doing anything he can to help other people, you can’t help but be deeply affected by it.
An amazing father will raise his children to be just like him, but not on purpose. What we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. When you admire something about someone else, you develop that quality in yourself. You know that saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’? Well, my brother and I are two apples so similar to the tree that we could never let go. No wonder he couldn’t get rid of us.
If you’d heard my dad talk about my brother and I, you’d think, “Wow, that man is the proudest father I’ve ever met.” And he should be proud. But he should be more proud of himself than anything else. He has been the driving force behind every accomplishment we have made so far and will continue to make throughout our lives.
If you heard my brother and I talk about our dad, you would think, “Wow, those are the proudest kids I’ve ever met.” And it’s because we know our dad is the reason we can do anything at all and we are grateful to be the children of such an inspirational person.
His contagious smile, generous spirit, unforgettable laugh, loving heart, unbelievable strength and many words of wisdom should be a lesson to us all to live each day in a way that makes the world better.
I wrote this on Monday. And on Wednesday as I began reading through the wonderful guest book messages people wrote about my dad, I found that so many of the same incredible things that I’d written about were mirrored in messages by people I’ve never even met; People who were touched by my dad’s heart. Here are some of them:
-He had an infectious personality that simply made any day better.
-I will forever remember your smiling face and gentle heart, and I can still hear the sound of your cowboy boots walking down the isle.
-A great and unforgettable guy.
-I used to work with Casie and her dad would stop by our office from time to time to visit her. Casie would light up when he would visit just like she always did when she talked about him. He seemed like a wonderful man. I know he will be forever missed and cherished by Casie, her brother and all those that love him.
-Your Dad adored you two so much, when he spoke of you, all parts of him engaged and lit up big time; it was a beautiful thing. Although it’s been a bit since we had seen him, his laughter, smile and warmth are as easy to feel as if it was yesterday.
-I know I’m a better man for having him in my life.
-He had an infectious personality, and his compassionate nature had a profoundly positive impact on his family and those around him.
-He did nothing but help anyone who ever asked. He was a lovely man who will be missed.
-He would always ask how my family and I were doing because he truly cared, and you knew how important his family was to him as well.
-I’m going to miss a best friend, and the best neighbor I’ve ever had in my life.
-I will sadly miss the big grin from the little guy with the biggest heart ever.
-I’ll always remember his quick grin and sunny personality.
-I only met Jim one time…but, I will never, ever forget it. His contagious smile still sticks with me. Thank you for being you. The world is now missing a leader of light.