Contributed by Hastalag
My Dad believed it was important that his children should be disciplined and always respectful to others particularly our elders and he never believed for example that an adult would ever say anything untrue about a child.
I recall an incident where my father, returning from one of his frequent trips, was told by a neighbor that I had done something wrong. His response was to administer the usual punishment, which in those days and in our world involved the application of a few slaps across the buttocks. My explanation about what had happened and that the neighbor was not being trustful, resulted in the punishment being applied. In his eyes it was unthinkable that we as his children would show such disrespect to an adult by accusing him of lying. Later on when the truth came out that he was, he said only that I must remember always to show respect to others especially the elderly. As a result of this and other more pleasant demonstration he instilled in me the need to show respect to our fellow human beings. This has remained with me forever. He was viewed as a stern, loving and caring father with the only sad reflection being not being allowed to have him share a greater portion of my life. His early demise was not quite understood by an eleven-year-old child but later in life I came to accept that he had served his purpose on earth and that he had simply moved on. On many occasions in my adult life I have found myself thinking I was receiving his nod of approval and that he was satisfied with my accomplishments. This has been a source of both satisfaction and encouragement.
My father was 33 years of age when I was born and he died at 44 so we shared our earthly existence for 11 years. I remembered him as a truck operator transporting small farmers from the rural areas to the markets located in the urban areas. This was prior to World War II. The onset of that war had a devastating effect on his business as fuel was scarce and he could no longer operate his vehicles. Imagine the impact this had on a proud man now unable to provide for his family. As a pre-teenager I watched both his business and his health failing and he died shortly thereafter. Without knowing it then, he bequeathed to his three children the passion for entrepreneurship and all of us at different times established our own businesses and this tradition continues with his grandchildren.
My recollection of him was that of a hardworking and caring disciplinarian and a loving father, husband and friend to many. These recollections helped to fashion the life I have tried to live and the relations that I have had with my children. There are many incidents that I recall which demonstrated his caring attitude. But one especially comes to mind. By the nature of his work, he was very often away from home but all of us as children looked forward to his return, at which time he would always bring little goodies such as candies and pastries. But true to form, he would use those goodies to reward us for incidents reported to him of good behavior and application to studies.
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