Each Father's Day , I find myself reflecting on the lessons and wisdom embedded within me through my father.
Fathers love and respect their partner - He was born on a farm in Ipswich, South Dakota, the oldest of eight children. He was a farmer at age 14 and a young soldier early in World War II. After seven years in the Navy, our dad fell in love and married the enduring love of his life, our mother. They were married for 62 years. My parents eventually settled in a small town in southeast Iowa and raised 5 children while my father worked 3 jobs. He always commented how lucky he was to have married our mom and that it was best decision that he ever made.
Fathers sacrifice for their children - Watching my father work so hard had a profound effect on me. My first job was delivering newspapers, at age 12. On Sundays, the paper was real thick making it difficult to deliver all across the town. My father would get up with me early on Sunday morning and helped me load the papers in the car and drive me to the various neighborhoods.
Fathers are fun - As busy as our dad was, he made time to do a lot of fun things for us. Our dad bought a second hand motorboat that we used to go out on the Mississippi River on weekends. The boat was constantly breaking down and there were many times we had to use the oars to row back to the dock after the engine conked out. It was a standing joke, that whenever we went out on the river, we would always head upstream, so that we could easily return to the dock downstream.
Fathers live well - I learned from my father, particularly in his later years, the importance of being kind, and to try and do some good every day. He treated every person he met with courtesy and kindness.
My father, Leo Maiers, passed away peacefully at age 92. My siblings and I were blessed to have had him in our lives as long as we did.
On this Father’s Day of 2013, I think about my father’s life and how important it is to live each day like it’s your last one, and try to do something good for someone every day.
Paul Maiers is a Program Specialist with the Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance, and the father of two.