June always reminds us of our fathers, and Carol Graham welcomes the opportunity to tell her dad’s tale and her lessons from Father. Read more from Carol on her blog.
In a small German village on New Year’s Eve, 1903, my father, William Frederick, was born. He was the oldest of thirteen children. Life was challenging and after my father’s brother was born, my grandfather traveled to the New World. Grandpa worked hard to save enough money to bring his family to America.
TRAVELING AS STOWAWAYS
When they finally arrived and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, life was not as good as Grandpa had described. They were very poor and there was very little work. Although my father was able to attend school, he had to quit in fifth grade to help support the growing family. The children came very close together and dad was more of a father to his 13 siblings than a brother.
FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION
It was the Dirty Thirties and although life was extremely difficult, my dad always had a large garden and fed as many people as he could with his harvest. He pastored a small church in northern Wisconsin.
MY SISTER DIED AT 12 YEARS OLD
In 1950, he was offered the position as pastor of a church in one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.A. – Detroit, Michigan. This was the beginning of a new life for all of us, including my two brothers and a sister.
My mother was gravely ill by the time I was born and I grew up watching my dad take care of his wife and family, much like he had done as a very young boy. I became extremely close to my father and gleaned so much wisdom from both his lifestyle and what he taught me.
LIFE LESSONS FROM FATHER:
“DO IT RIGHT — DO IT NOW!” This was probably one of his greatest lessons. How to overcome procrastination using this man’s SECRET is very simple. Do it right and do it now. I apply this to everything several times a day. NO EXCUSES!
“FEED YOUR FAITH – OR FEED YOUR FEAR” Whichever one you choose to feed will grow. The one you don’t feed will die. Again, a very basic and simple philosophy that has helped me maintain perspective in precarious situations.
“FORGIVENESS — IT’S A CHOICE!” If we choose not to forgive, the only one we hurt is ourselves. It can eat at us like a cancer and destroy us.
My mother died when I was a teenager and my father when I was 35. I feel both were taken from me too young. My parents left me with a heritage of strong integrity, morals and ethics. My father lived what he preached. I miss them as much today as when they passed away.
My children never met their grandparents but I have tried to keep memories alive of their heritage and instill in them the same philosophies by which my father lived.
William Frederick — December 31, 1903 – August 3, 1982
Do you have any lessons your father taught you that made a difference in your life?