My Dad

I meant to have this ready to post last Friday (which was his actual birthday) but in the busy-ness of preparing for a vacation I didn’t get it done, but I feel like my dad has taught me so many important lessons, I hated to pass up the opportunity to share what I have learned from my dad with you guys.


He turned 60 on May 23rd and to celebrate we all went scuba diving in the Bahamas.  (I’ll recap that trip later this week)  As our gift my brothers and I put together a book for Dad of pictures throughout the years and ended it with letters telling him what we learned from him over the years.  And since I think my dad is a great role model for how to be a dad, I’m sharing that letter with you:


As I am thinking about your 60 years and the legacy that you have taught each of your children, I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and grace you were able to pour out onto us over our 30ish years of life.  As I watch my friends start their own parenthood journey and begin to struggle through how to raise someone up in this crazy world, I can’t help but to feel extraordinarily blessed by having you as a father.  I find myself over and over giving parenting advice to others because you and Mom were brilliant in many of the ways in which you raised us.  When I think about the lessons you taught us, I can’t possibly list them all, but some of the ones which have impacted me the most, I’ll list here.


You taught us to care about the world. As we work with youth and other young adults, it is very clear to me that this has not necessarily been standard practice among others.  The world teaches people to care deeply about themselves, to protect what they are and what they own at all costs, but you and Mom taught us to care more about others and to seek out those who need help: Christmas caroling to the elderly, taking care of the sick, or just being there for the lonely.  And although that is of upmost importance, you also taught us to care about the world as a whole: to dedicate ourselves to public service, to care for the environment and conserve energy (you’ll be proud to know I almost always turn off all the lights when I leave the house), to fight for a better world in whatever career path we chose.

You taught us to think. It is so easy sometimes to coast through life, to do just enough to get by, but growing up, that was never enough.  Your expectations for us were set so high, it felt impossible to achieve on our own, but that was the beauty of it.  We were never alone. I remember night after night you sitting by my side teaching me math or science and always telling me IBIY- I Believe in You. Even as an adult when I struggle with difficulties at work, you are the one sitting next to me, helping me brainstorm or work on problems, and still telling me that you believe in me, even when I didn’t believe in me. It still means the world to me. I hope one day my children know how much I believe in them, even when they don’t believe in themselves.

You taught us to be generous in every way: with our time, our money and our grace.  I am in awe at the way in which you and Mom seem to be able to impact the world around you by giving of yourselves over and over again.  Some of my favorite memories are of deciding where to donate money at the end of the year hovering around the dining table, knowing that that money would go to help others.  But I also remember bagging groceries with you at CCA and working on mission trips side by side with you.  But you were also generous with your grace, you forgave easily and always told us over and over that we were loved.  And not just us, you loved everyone and treated everyone with respect.  That is not always an easy thing to do, and it is a legacy to which I hope I can live up to.


But most of all, you taught us to love God and to participate in his mission. You showed me day in and day out what a Godly life looked like.  I’ve realized how vital that is and how grateful I am for such an excellent role model.  Life is far from easy or perfect, but I am blessed to have had you as an example of how to do it gracefully.

I love you more than words can possibly say.






  1. Emily Webster says:

    What a treasure your dad is. I very much enjoyed reading this post!

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