Next to his faith in God, the most important thing in my Dad’s life was his family; my Mom who was the love of his life, his kids, grandkids, great grandkids, brothers, and sisters. One of the ways he made life better for all of us and left his fingerprint on our lives was through the use of what I like to call his “Dadisms”; quotes, poems, or sayings that inspired him. One quote my father loved was:
Sing like no one is listening
Love like you’ve never been hurt
Dance like nobody is watching and
Live like its heaven on earth
We witnessed a good example of this whenever we would go out with my parents. Regardless of where we were, if a nice song came on, my Dad would take my Mom in his arms, spin her, and dance all around. As always, he was living life to the fullest and loving my mother.
Another favorite “Dadism” is a poem he came across a few years ago entitled ‘Attitude’. I think it really resonated with him because it described the life he had always tried to live
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearances, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break, a company… a church… a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day; regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
These words helped Dad re-confirm his life philosophy and he shared them with everyone he could.
My father loved people and loved life, and he made an impact on more people than any of us will ever know. I believe there is one word that embodied Dad’s thoughts about attitude and that is the word ‘FANTASTIC’. In the dictionary, fantastic is defined as ‘incredibly great’. Anytime someone would ask my Dad how he was doing he would say, in a very enthusiastic way, ‘FANTASTIC’. There were times when Dad truly did feel ‘incredibly great’ or ‘Fantastic’ but also times when he absolutely did not. The day before Dad died, while on his death bed in a lot of pain and struggling to breath, His doctor asked how he was doing. His reply was a faint ‘Fantastic’. The doctor gave a sympathetic smile knowing how difficult it was for my dad to even speak the words. I don’t think that doctor knew Dad well enough to understand how He could possibly feel incredibly great, given his condition.
I believe the true message to my Dad’s doctor, as well as the rest of us, is that life can still be ‘incredibly great’ regardless of our circumstances… that life is a special gift to be cherished in both good times and bad.
Maya Angelou once said:
People will forget what you said and
people will forget what you did
but people will never forget
how you made them feel
My father had a way to make people feel ‘Incredibly Great’. He has touched more lives, and will be remembered by, more people then we will ever know.
It is said that those who have touched you leave an everlasting imprint on your beating heart and shining soul; an impression very much like that of a fingerprint. And our fingerprints will never fade from the lives we’ve touched. While we are all sad, and grieving about my father’s death I know he would want us to all feel ‘Incredibly Great’ in our own lives, and about the time that we shared with Dad…and to know that for all eternity he will truly feel…Fantastic!
Submitted by Anonymous
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