This BLOG is about current topics, retirement issues and my adventures. It's my dream to help Boomers create a fun-filled, healthy and rewarding retirement!
Friday, June 14, 2013
For my DAD!
As Father's Day approaches, I'd like to honor my dad with a few comments.
My dad was hard-working and always did whatever it took to support our family of 9 kids, born in less than 12 years: 5 boys - 4 girls. There was always a baby around but he loved kids, so he was thrilled to be blessed with so many. Money was scarce, but we were never on welfare--because like so many men of his generation he took pride in taking care of his family.
He was the baby of 6 children, born to Sicilian immigrants and did not even speak English until he was 9. But unlike many of the immigrants of today who want everything handed to them and in many cases even refuse to learn and speak English, he fully recognized the importance of fitting into our society, to the point that he would not even allow us kids to learn Italian........which would have been so easy as we always lived near my Italian grandma Rosa.
My favorite piece of advice from him was: "Getting your education is like constructing a building. You must have a solidly built foundation or the entire building will crumble."
From the first day I started school, no grade other than an A was acceptable. I'm fortunate because in the 1950s, he stressed education for his daughters an idea that was definitely ahead of its time because at that time, most women were getting married right out of high school.
Being the oldest, he pushed me so hard that by 27 I had a degree in Accounting and an MBA. At that time, in 1976, I was somewhat of an oddity as there were not many women in the business world, but I was grateful as my strong educational background gave me a real advantage in finding a job.
There wasn't any problem he couldn't solve and he always had a helping hand for anyone -- family or friends -- who needed his assistance. I also love that he taught me to always take in "strays" for the holidays. So, no matter how many family members we might have at a holiday celebration (upwards of 50 with all my relatives), he wanted us to make sure our single friends had somewhere to go.
He was an incredible dancer and even met my mom in a nightclub! I have many fond memories of our times on the dance floor -- whether in the living room, at a wedding or even in a nightclub. He's the one who made me a concert junkie as he took me to see Bobby Darin when I was just 11 years old. We had the most fun though going to see the Ike and Tina Turner Revue at Club Imperial in St. Louis. We were regulars at the Nightclub. This was was back in 1961 when I was just 13 and way before they were famous.
Check out this Luther Vandross Video as it's one of my favorites and reminds me of the many times I danced with my dad. For all of you who are missing your dad on Father's day, this one's for you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hJu89k3d_w