I’d Rather Die…

For the introduction to the Lessons From My Father Series – Click Here

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

 –  Theodore Roosevelt, from a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910

 

Dreams are amazing things! On the rare occasion that you are able to remember them, the opportunity to share it with someone else can be as entertaining as the dream itself.  Some time ago my wife asked me, “What were you dreaming about last night?Continue reading

Family vs. Family

 For the introduction to the Lessons From My Father Series – Click Here

Mark Twain said, “Brevity is the soul of wit”.  Apparently, this post is ‘witless‘…get some coffee – it will be a long read!!!

 

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

– Victor Frankl

I don’t cry.  That’s right – no tears…just like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo!  It is strange, though, that the older I get, the more trouble I have with occasional moisture build-up in the corner of my eye.  It seems to be worse when I watch certain movies or attend significant ceremonies.  I have seen the same trend with my dad.  When we were growing up, Old Yeller yelp his last and dad would let out exaggerated yawns Continue reading

Don’t Eat the Whole Buffet

For the introduction to the Lessons From My Father SeriesClick Here

LESSONS FROM MY FATHER #3

A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means.  This is an obvious lie.  Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is….  A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.  That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness.  They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.  ~C.S. Lewis

I love going to restaurants, especially a fine restaurant.  I love the whole experience that comes from that brush with the “upper crust”, – escorted to a table especially reserved for me, “May I help you, Sir?”, cloth napkins, three forks, multiple plates,  words on the menu that I cannot pronounce – it is all an adventure that makes me wonder how many ways can I embarrass myself today.  Apparently, a Shrimp Cocktail does NOT contain alcohol!

As a kid, however, it was only special occasions that would Continue reading

Walk On The Roadside – Part 2

For the introduction to the Lessons From My Father Series – Click Here

newborn-baby-on-handLESSONS FROM MY FATHER #2

WALK ON THE ROADSIDE – Part 2

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

 And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

 I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Hand under the Head

Walking on the roadside of my family has meant a lot of different things…physical safety, emotional and financial security and spiritual direction – to name a few.  In all of these areas, the lesson of my father was that of protection.  How do I prevent harm and provide help?  How do I show consistent strength and share unconditional love?

It was not supposed to be like this.  I am older…stronger…more experienced, but I was having trouble breathing and I had no strength to fight back.  He was only sixteen years old and yet my son had me pinned in a chest-crushing wrestling hold and I could not break Continue reading

Walk On The Roadside – Part 1

For the introduction to the Lessons From My Father Series – Click Here

KnightedLESSONS FROM MY FATHER #1

Walk on the Roadside – Part 1

Chivalry!—why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection—the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant —Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword.” – Sir Walter Scott

It was probably just a routine walk from home to another perennial school event.  You know, the kind of event that drags reluctant parents to their kids’ elementary school to see bizarre pipe-cleaner collages hanging on the walls or to “oooh” and “aaah” over science projects that were mostly completed by coerced parents.  It might have been just an evening walk for the family around the block, although those kinds of walks were rare.  I really don’t even remember the reason we took the stroll.  All that remains of that memory is a shadowy image floating in my mind of my sister, my parents and me on a dark night Continue reading

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