I haven't written much about my father here on this blog, but thought today would be an appropriate time to do so.
My Father is, without question, the hardest working man I know. An Organic Dairy Farmer by trade he is, at 65 years old, still up at 4:00 AM every day of the week putting in hard labor until nearly 8:00 PM each and every night. Sure, there are meals to be eaten, but during this busy time of year for him, most of those are a quick bowl of cold cereal or sandwhich while on the move.
Do the math folks. That is 16 hours a day of work, both physical and mental (he is running a business). There are few people I know who could pull those hours off in thier prime, let alone at age 65. I left the farm 10 years ago and have since become 'soft' enough that I would drop about half way through one such day, much less one after another.
But what amazes me most about my father is not his physical stamina or the workload he endures. No, what amazes me about my father is what a terrific human being he is. A kind and soft spoken man, along with my mother he raised my brother, sister, and I to understand not only the value of a decent work ethic, but also the merits of lending a helping hand to those in need. Rarely did someone, stranger or aquaintance, stopping by our farm with a story of hardship, not find my father with some good deed to help them out.
Whether it be an offer of work, a loan, or a few dollars to help pay that months rent with no questions asked. Whatever someone needed to get by, my father was always there to help them. It didn't matter to him that word got around our town that he was the person to approach if you needed help, someone still needed a kind gesture, and my father was always willing to oblige. This was often to the exclusion of his own needs.
My own son, on this Father's Day, is extremely lucky to have my dad as his grandfather. As he grows, I am sure I will be posed with many questions about why grandpa is helping one person or another. It will be a perfect opportunity for me to teach my son about empathy for others.
I will just tell him, it's because his grandpa is a decent man, and that he cares about people even when there is nothing to gain for himself. And, that he should grow up to not only be like daddy, but grandpa too. If he does, he will be loved by everyone who knows him.
Happy Father's Day Dad.