Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Decent Man

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.


Being us... said...

Beautiful post! Happy fathers day Grandpa! (and Dad)

Lady Mama said...

Lovely story. He sounds like a wonderful man.

Surfer Jay said...

Great tribute to your father.

My dad was a farmer. He milked the cows every morning at the butt crack of dawn till he went away to college. He still drinks whole cream topped milk. It tastes great, but I just can't get use to the fact that the milk is lumpy. You must apprectiate the lumps I bet. Nothing like the real, unfiltered thing.

SciFi Dad said...

Wonderful tribute to what sounds like an amazing man.

Happy Father's Day, sir.

WILLIAM said...

I love reading stories about good fathers.

FilmFather said...

Great post, James. Grandfathers never stop being fathers either, and it sure looks like he's done right on both counts.

Martin said...

It's not often you get to experience this game from both sides, having a good father and trying to be one.

You're a lucky man.

Nice one.

Dad Stuff said...

I have a lot respect for farmers. Your dad sounds like a very special person.
Very touching.

Mocha Dad said...

Grandpa LIAFY sounds like a hardworking (16 hours? Ouch!), dedicated dad. I hope both of you had a great Father's Day.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Being Us - Thanks. I will pass it on.

@Lady Mama - He certainly is. I was, and am lucky to have a great Father.

@Jay - Even my dad gave up drinking the whole stuff straight from the cows years ago. Even then it was filtered. I bet your dad is a tough old guy though, drinking his milk chunky style.

@Scifi Dad - Thanks. will pass it on.

@William - Me too.

@FilmFather - Your are correct there. And he has done right.

@Xbox - Thanks. I am a lucky man on many accounts.

@Dadstuff - Speaking from experience, it is a brutally tough occupation, but if you love it like my father does, it can be amazingly rewarding.

@Mocha Dad - Yeah, 16 hours is a normal work day for a dairyman during the Summer months. Father's day was great. I hope yours was equally fun.