Fathers take on different roles without complaint—our playmate, the clown in the house, the handyman, teammate, alliance, and refuge. Every experience may be minuscule and insignificant but dads have their unspoken ways of making the trivial momentous and life-changing.
Studies have shown that children have better mental and emotional health, self-esteem, and life satisfaction when fathers play an active role in their child’s development. A father’s word is the rock and his valuable lessons come wrapped in love and affection that do not take away from how effective they are—lessons that are replicated, respected, honored, and never forgotten.
“I lost my father over five years ago and I continue to think of him and miss him dearly,” said business leader Velma Palacios.
Palacios is the daughter of the late Francisco B. Palacios known as “Tik” to family and friends and remembers him as her greatest supporter.
“I would go to him for guidance and to bounce ideas, thoughts, and dreams I had. My father would listen intently as I spoke and he made me feel I could do anything. There are times we disagreed on my decisions…as there is a deafening silence but no matter what I did, he was always there for me.”
“He allowed me to make mistakes in my life…I could always count on him and that’s how I learned,” she added.
Palacios recalls other lessons from her father—her treasure and heritage. “Growing up, my dad taught my siblings and I the value of respect. We should show respect to everyone, young or old. He taught us to be kind to everyone we meet. It doesn’t matter if I did not like the person. You had to be respectful and kind. My dad was one of the most generous persons I knew. He would go out of his way to help people. He believed in the saying, when you give, it comes back to you fourfold.”
“My dad believed in working hard for what you want. He had to work all his life to provide for his family. He wanted me to learn the value of hard work and reminded me that nothing will be handed to you. It is at your grasp, you just have to work at it,” she added.
Palacios said her father taught her to avoid useless worrying, especially when people become critical.
“This is one important lesson I learned early on—don’t worry about what people think and do what is right for you. My dad told me everyone will always have something to say, positive or negative, mostly negative about you. If you continue to worry about what everyone thinks or says, you will never get anywhere. I am grateful for how my dad has influenced my life to make me the person I am today. Wish he was here every day,” she added.
Ashley Beck from Papago recalls being the most important person in her father’s life.
“My early memories are illuminated by his unwavering love and attention. He transformed even our most simple pastimes—riding bikes, making dinners, playing games—into joy-filled adventures. I can’t imagine that anyone could feel more loved or important than I did when I spent my childhood summers with my dad,” she said.
“His love provided me with a foundational sense of self-worth that I have been able to build my adult life upon. My father taught me what I believe is one of the greatest lessons that any adult can teach a child. It is vital for our children to learn that they are valued, that they are supported and that they can succeed,” she added.
Department of Public Safety public information officer Jackie Rae said her father’s words lives on and key to pushing her to be the best she can be.
“My dad passed away on Dec. 15, 2015. Just 10 days before his birthday, he was a Christmas baby. Ironically, I feel I hear him even more now because he always gave the best advice. The one speech I remember most is, ‘always walk in faith, make wise decisions, but never be afraid of failure. Failure is a part of success—learn from it and use it to your advantage.’”
“…I am somewhat a control freak because sometimes I feel like beating myself up for not achieving what I see as success. But whenever I feel down, I hear his voice saying, ‘God usually laughs at our plans, so keep the faith and trust the journey.’ His advice keeps me going and motivates me to work hard, no matter where the journey takes me,” she added.
Businessman Yogi Singh does not only remember his father’s words, he is living it.
“My dad, Taji Singh, is not with us anymore but he lives on amongst us. Taji was not a very educated man as he was a sixth-grade dropout but he was smart. He could do anything. He was a lumberjack, a farmer, a carpenter, a mason, a furniture maker, a glasscutter and more. He could anything and he did it well,” he said.
“He understood the value of education and made sure his kids were educated. The biggest life lessons he taught us were hard work always pays, be kind, help everyone, smile even when you’re down and, most importantly, whatever you do, do it well, do it with your heart. He always used to say, Good, better, best. Never rest until good is better, better is best,” he added.