My mother has given me lots of advice over the years. I don’t know if I can verbalize a lot of her wisdom that she passed on, but there are a couple of things that she said that are stuck in my brain. One being…”straighten up 15 minutes everyday”. I know it sounds silly but the older I get the more time I realize even doing dishes takes, but when it comes to keeping the house neat, 15 minutes picking everything up makes a big difference!
With father’s day quickly approaching, I thought it fitting to share one of the most important lessons my father taught me. It was not through what he said, but through his actions. When I think of my father, I think of perseverance. His successes in life have been defined by his perseverance. He is not a man to take no for an answer and is confident in pursuing what he wants.
My father is my inspiration. He is my champion and believes that I can do anything I desire to do. If it was not for him, I would not have pursued my line of handkerchief and pocket squares (Love Virginia Ruth). Ever since I was little, I loved shopping with and for him in shops like Brooks Brothers – feeling all the wonderful materials and textures and seeing all the wonderful tailoring and craftsmanship. I love how he dresses, with respect, regardless of changing trends. He always wears a sports coat or suit and is rarely without a pocket square and never without a handkerchief. For me, he epitomizes what it is to be a gentleman. It is not his actions that define him as a gentleman but the heart that is behind them. His respect for others is what truly makes him a gentleman. Not that he stands when a woman enters the room or opens and closes doors for whomever he is with (which he does along with much more). He is a servant, gracious, loving kindness. He is an image of my heavenly father. The highest standard of what a man should be.
My father has relentlessly pursued that which he wanted. He pursued my mother for four years before she agreed to marry him. His perseverance is not just with wild abandonment. It is with confidence and decorum. He is gentle and yet firm. He stands his ground yet is ever gracious. He has shown me through his life, to pursue what I want and not to give up at the first no or sign of hardship. I do believe that if you want something, you have to pursue it with confidence and hope. I believe all of that is not possible without faith, hope, contentment, and the knowledge that my life is in God’s control. I give it all over to Him.
There are certain passing instructions or repeated advice that have stuck with me. They are little things, but they seem to make a big difference. One piece of advice that I did not appreciate when I was younger, was my grandmother never putting plastic on the dining table. At the time, it seemed like added effort and more dishes to wash when she would ask for me to take back what I had set out and put it in a glass dish of some sort. However, the older I have become, the more I realize how much more delightful the table is when presented without the original plastic containers. Ketchup seems to be transformed, as does the whole meal.
Looking back I don’t remember my grandmother repeatedly asking me. It may have been just once. But she gave her reasoning and it was softly planted in my mind. For some reason, that is one of the first pieces of advice that pops in my mind when I think of what she has taught me through the years.