10 Things I Learned from My Dad

My dad is a pretty amazing man. Of course I would say that, I am his only daughter, after all. However, I strongly believe that anyone who knows this man would wholeheartedly agree with me on this assessment. He is, quite simply, one of the good ones. To me, he is simply the best. I have learned a great many lessons from this man I call dad. Here are just a few that stand out….

1. Don’t quit. From a young age, I participated in sports. It took a while to find my niche, but once I did, I was hooked. So was my dad. I ran track and cross-country throughout high school and had a scholarship opportunity for college but decided my body (namely my knees) needed a break. My dad faithfully showed up to all of my races. He timed each interval. He praised me when I met a new goal. He encouraged me when I ran a terrible race. He was my coach on and off the track. In sports and in life. The two words that have always rang loud and clear from this wise man were: Don’t Quit. Those words have seen me through some very trying seasons when it would have been easy to give up. However, I always thought back to my dad and remembered what he would faithfully say. And no matter what defeating mountain I have faced in life, I kept going. Thanks, Dad!

2. Know your worth. My dad has always been respectful, gracious, and kind to others. He truly invests, and cares for, those in his life and community. When he sensed I was being treated unkindly in a friendship or romantic relationship, he was quick to point out that a lady knows her worth and does not allow for anything less than the respect and admiration she deserves. If she does not receive it, she should move on down the road and wait for a more suitable partner. You were RIGHT, Dad.

Honoring Father’s Day

3. Invest in others. My dad was an example to his co-workers and a leader in his hometown church. Not to mention a spiritual leader in our home. He took these roles very seriously and has always strived to see the best in others, help when it is needed, provide encouragement, and simply just be there when others are hurting. My dad is a strongly religious man. Jesus Christ is his savior and friend. He has always tried to emulate the life Jesus lived. The true investment and servitude of one man to everyone he meets. I am proud to call you Dad….and I believe Jesus is proud to call you ‘friend’.

4. Work hard. My dad worked a physically demanding job for over 30 years. He went to work early and often worked overtime when the opportunity arose. When he came home, I could usually find him in his huge vegetable garden in the spring and summer, or in the garage tinkering on a car, a woodworking project, or some other random odd job prior to dinner time. Dad was a hard worker, he still is! He certainly instilled in me the value of a hard day’s work and the restful night that often follows a day of productivity. I saw you, Dad.

5. Just show up. My dad is not an emotional man, or rather, he does not often show his emotions outwardly. Despite being the wisest person I know, he does not say much. However, when he does speak, his words never cease to amaze me. I recall he once sat with me, in the empty living room of my beloved dream house. We were surrounded by boxes, as my husband decided he wanted a divorce, and I had no choice but to move, with my two young sons, to a much smaller home across town. As my dad and I sat in that large empty living room, me holding back an ocean of emotion and him not quite knowing what to say, he said the one thing that I will never forget. “I am sorry you are going through this.” It was simple. It was raw. Those eight words held more depth, emotion, understanding and empathy than the mounds of empty platitudes other meaningful family and friends had said over the preceding few months. Just knowing he cared, and he was there to help pick up the pieces of my broken life meant the world to me. It did then. It does now. It will always be a memory I cherish. He simply showed up. It meant everything to me, Dad.

6. Always tell the truth. I was a pretty good kid. But, like most kids, on occasion, I would find trouble. I never felt more guilt than when my dad found out I had lied, cheated, been unkind, or just plain disobeyed. His character was never in question. And when I made a mistake, it was not the punishment I feared. It was the disappointment written on the face of the man I loved most in the world. My dad. I lied very few times, but I could never hold out for long. The guilt ate me alive. I believe he knew that the punishment inflicted on me by my conscious was often the greatest teacher to his little girl. Your example always guided me, Dad.

7. Persistence. My dad is a very persistent, slightly stubborn, man. When he gets something in his head, it will very likely come to fruition. I have absolutely inherited this trait from my father. Always questioning, looking for opportunities to learn and enhance my desire to embark on new adventures, this gift of persistence has more times than not paid off in full dividends. I am glad I learned this from you, Dad!

8. Always do your best. Whether it was school, sports, career, marriage, parenthood, or another season of life, my dad’s expectations were that I perform to the best of my ability. If my best was a ‘C’, he was proud. However, if I got a ‘C’ but he knew I was capable of a higher grade, we would certainly have a discussion. My dad has always valued hard work and doing one’s best. I am grateful for his high expectations as I have the same expectations for my own two sons. I wholeheartedly agree with doing one’s best, Dad.

9. Rely on your faith. My father is a faithful man. He loves his Lord with all of his heart and while he may not necessarily preach with words, he lives a life of deep devotion and servitude. His example has stood out to countless friends, family, church members, and our hometown community. When I hear the popular phrase, ‘Walk the walk’, I think of my dad, who daily exemplifies this. I am honored to be your daughter, Dad.

Father’s Rely On Your Faith

10. Loyalty. My parents have been married nearly 52 years. As a divorce’, I often joke that this marital magic must have skipped a generation. However, my dad is as loyal as a laborador. When he said, ‘I do’, he truly meant it and more importantly, he stood by those words, for better or worse. Not just for the joyful and adventurous seasons, but for the difficult, uphill battles that never fail to show up at the most inopportune times. My dad takes his role as husband, father, and now ‘Pops’, to my two sons, very seriously. He believes marriage is forever. He has faithfully and loyally committed himself to my mother for many, many years. I am so grateful for the love they have shared and modeled to me. I have yet to find a man that can fit into my dad’s metaphorically large shoes, but seeing the love, grace, and loyalty he has for my mother gives me hope that one day, my forever partner will find his way to me. Thank you for modeling the role of a husband, Dad.

Fathers sure are special people. I hit the jackpot with my dad. I am so thankful for the life lessons he has taught me, not so much in words, but in his unwavering daily example. He is truly one of the best and I get to call him mine! This one’s for you, Dad.

About Author

Amannda (Manndi) Maphies works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, is a mother to two human boys, two furry boys (dog – Atlas and cat – Hamilton), and enjoys freelance writing based on her travels, life adventures, and pretty much anything that stands out in life as ‘story-worthy’. Manndi contributes to several online and written publications, including: Ozarks Farm and Neighbor, Connections Magazine, Moms of Teens and Tweens, Her View from Home, Motherly,Motherwell, Salt + Sparrow, Daily Inspired Life with Karletta Marie, Focus on the Family, The Christian Standard, and has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Believing in Angels (January 2022). She had her first book published in September 2022, Tales From My Mummy, which can be found in local bookstores (SW Missouri) and Amazon.

Manndi’s greatest passion is being a boy mom to her two sons, William (13, going on 23) and Waylan (still sweet, boyish and recently turned 11). Her sons never fail to provide daily entertainment, which inspires many of her writings. She also loves to write about everything from being a single mom and dating after divorce to finding love later in life, the devastation of miscarriage, the loss of a loved one, and dealing with anxiety and mental health issues (specifically her personal journey with OCD). Her pieces are lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor.

Live a life worthy of writing about, is her daily motto and she strives to exemplify this daily.

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