This I Believe

carla - kincad, West Virginia
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, legacy

I have always believed father’s play a significant role in their children’s lives but studies are proving that to be true. According to social work research done by University of Halfa, “there is a definitive relationship between the quality of the father-child relationship and interpersonal relationships later in life.” (Siegel) If my husband is half the man my father was, then I am indeed one fortunate woman. He pampered and treated my mother with the utmost respect the same as he did every one else he met. According to psychotherapist Jacqueline Sussman, “Fathers are critical in shaping their daughter’s personality.” (Richard) Dad’s play a vital role in a daughter’s life. I believe that having a loving and nurturing father does have a substantial impact on a daughter. His presence in that case provides her with a good self-image, the key to being successful in life. My father led his life the way he expected his children to do. He taught us that we should “lead by example”.

I believe fathers are a major influence in our lives. As we were growing up, my dad set strict boundaries for us to follow. He worked everyday to provide a living for his family but he always found time for us. He passed away in February this year and since his passing I have reflected a lot upon his life. Dad led by his example and since his passing I have had numerous people pay their respects for him by telling me how much they respected him for the wonderful human being he was. Dad was an inspiration to many and stood for just the things he believed in. He treated everyone with the same respect and raised us kids to do the same. Anyone who was in need always knew they could count on dad to be there to lend a helping hand in whatever way they needed. There was a devastating flood in our community a few years ago and dad was the first one out there offering help. He and mom opened their home to those in need, taking in about 20 people who were left homeless until they could get back into their own homes. He never expected anything in return except that those he helped return that aid to someone else in need. He set an example to all who knew him.

Dad never missed a day of work but when he was not working, you would find him in the midst of a group of us kids camping on the riverbank, playing marathon board or card games, dancing the night away or just hanging out talking. He always had time to talk to us about the important issues in our lives. This didn’t end when we grew up either. After all his children were married, he continued to play an important role in our lives and those of his grandchildren. He was a rock that we knew we could always count on. We built a new home and dad was right here by our side digging water lines, hammering sheet rock or whatever we were doing. When one of his children went to him, he was always there to listen or lend a helping hand.

“The closer the relationship between father and child, the better it is for both–now and in the future.” ( My dad and I were extremely close. He was my hero, my idol and my friend. I saw or spoke to my dad every day of my life. The things he taught me will always be with me and have a profound effect on my life. Dad may not be with me physically but he will always be a part of me and everything I say or do. I will continue to “lead by example” in just the way he taught me for this is the legacy my dad left for me!

My dad led by example and taught his children to do the same. I believe that every father plays that role in his children’s lives. If a father has a good relationship with his wife and other people in his life, the children will emulate that. Every father plays an important role in his children’s lives and leaves a lasting impact that always has a profound effect. My dad’s legacy will live on in our lives as we all remember him and continue to live by his example!