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My Dad

My father was the greatest man I ever met. He passed away almost 20 years ago and I still miss him – EVERY DAY. The most amazing thing about my dad is I am still discovering how much of an impact he has had on my life. After one of my speeches this week, a person asked me if I had grown up in a real estate family. They could tell I was passionate about the value of owning a home and assumed I was raised that way. I responded – ‘No, my father was a truck driver. Real estate wasn’t really his thing.’

Later that night, I started to think about my dad and how he did feel about owning a home. I then realized he actually did foster the passion I now have. He rarely talked about his feelings on anything. He communicated those feelings with his actions instead.

He saw his house as his castle. Our house was no mansion. It was a small three bedroom, one bath ranch on a quarter acre lot. My father maintained it like it was worth millions. He would come home after a twelve hour work day and not complain about mowing the lawn or planting a few bushes. He meticulously picked out a knick-knack for each of the twelve shelves of our bay window and changed them at different times of the year. He flew our nation’s flag on our front porch. He took the time to hang the most beautiful lights in the neighborhood during Christmas. He wanted his home to be special.

He saw a home as a shelter in a storm. Whenever a friend or a family member was going through difficult times, he would open our home to them. He would ask my brother and me to give up our bedroom to the person in need and move to the basement and sleep on the couch for awhile. We never gave it a second thought.

When he was dying of cancer, I visited him in the hospital. He had only one request. He wanted to come home. Those last months were made easier by the beautiful people of hospice. He spent his last days in the house tinkering with the knick-knacks, looking out the window and letting us know the lawn needed to be mowed, sitting in his favorite chair and watching the ball game.

He peacefully left us in the middle of the night. He was in his bed; in his bedroom; in the comfort of his home. That was important to him.

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