This weekend produced one of the most random heartfelt experiences of my life, I just had to share.
At the conclusion of every segment of your show, you sign off with a, "Now go do the right thing". I found out this weekend my deceased dad did just that years ago. This is my story…
My father owned an insurance agency in a small town in Northern Wisconsin beginning in the late 50’s until he retired in the mid-80’s. At its peak, he employed up to a dozen people, so like small business, they just got by. My father was a good man, respected in the community, school board president, chamber of commerce president, a WWII combat veteran… He was a very good role model and I always looked up to him. I always felt safe and knew he was there for me. He was my hero.
I was not particularly close to my father as a child growing up. My mother was the nurturing one. My father worked long hours, spending most of his free time at home relaxing and generally disengaged. This was not uncommon in this particular era; I assumed other households had the same experience. Mom had one role, Dad had another. Only until later in life did we become close.
During the early 70’s, I have a minor recollection of an employee of Dad’s diagnosed with brain cancer. It was a dark period for his family, as he suffered greatly and struggled through recovery. I was not particularly close to the situation as I was barely a teenager, but I knew his kids well growing up together in a small town.
Fast forward: Recently, I posted my dad's picture on Facebook with Happy Birthday wishes. Among the miscellaneous "likes" was a comment from the son of the above mentioned employee. It read, "Your dad was extremely generous as well. Long before disability insurance, your dad had vision. When our dad had a brain tumor and a long arduous recovery, your dad kept paying our dad for an entire year to help our family out with a weekly paycheck. Mom was busy taking care of Dad, and without this generosity, I have no idea how our family would have survived. We will always be grateful for that... There was no way for us to survive, if your dad hadn't done that -- I learned this in my 30s. My mom always talked about how wonderful your dad was and how this gave us the money to keep going. And then Mom got a job teaching at the end of the year. I thought you should know."
My dad has been deceased since 2004. I had no idea he had done this. I can’t begin to describe how good it felt to hear these words from an old family friend. My dad was my hero growing up, and he continues to be my hero even today. A very cool birthday present, indeed.
Now go do the right thing!