The world according to Dad.
A busy week and Friday too, but I took a few moments here and there throughout the day to think about my Dad and his upcoming birthday. He'd be 93 this coming August 18th.
Then it hit me, "Geez, it's been 16 years since you passed back in 1998." How'd that happen! It seems so long ago and yet today more recent.
Lost in thought I tried to articulate a few threads into something I could share in a post but the reality was I was attempting to write his story and that’s not going to happen today or in 250 or so words.
Suffice it to say he was a small town kid of immigrant parents who grew up in the Great Depression. An accordionist in a blue collar town, he was off to World War II in the Army after high school. Then to England, the Normandy Invasion, France, Belgium, the Battle of the Bulge under Patton, Bastogne, the liberation of Buchenwald, then to Paris for the duration.
When he got back from the war in late 1947 he played nightclubs and gave music lessons and continued this career for the next 49 years. More often than not he worked six days a week and sometimes seven when we were growing up. Yet he always made time for us.
Dad was a self made man like many of his generation. He loved learning but his formal education ended with high school. Yet he was always studying and practicing. I loved his attitude, he just jumped in and made it his own. He didn’t chase his dreams. His methods were very pragmatic and he'd work at it every day.
When Friday evening was about over my thoughts turned to events that must have shaped him. Then I had a few private laughs and started recalling his Dad’isms. I still remember them from childhood.
Do one thing at a time and don’t be in such a hurry.
Mind your manners and treat people with respect. It doesn’t matter what they do for a living or how much money they make. Good people are good people.
Let by gones be by gones. Carrying a grudge is a waste of time.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You don’t need to take any crap from anyone. I don’t care who they are.
Mind your own business and don’t meddle in other people's affairs.
If they aren’t honest, stay the hell away from them.
You’re gonna have good days and you’re gonna have bad days. That’s life.
Be kind to animals. And look after kids that are younger than you.
Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If it does, give it your very best shot.
Don’t be stingy or greedy. What goes around comes around.
Don’t talk about people behind their back and don’t listen to gossip.
There is no getting rich quick.
Stand up for what’s right.
Money isn’t everything.
You’ll be free if you live within your means and don’t spend money you don’t have.
Put a little away every time you get paid so you’ll have something for that rainy day.
Just because ‘they’ have a high opinion of themselves, doesn’t make it so.
If you fail it’s not a big deal. Try again. But there’s no short cuts so don't cheat.
Just keep working at it and have patience, you’ll get there.
Don’t compare what you don’t have to what others do. It won’t get you anywhere.
Just because it’s new, doesn’t make it better.
We all need help sometimes. If you really need it, ask.
Just do your best and things will turn out.
More often than not, it’s the little things in life that'll bring you happiness.
Dad, you were quite a character, a great dad and always there for us!
In loving memory, Al Fabre, August 18, 1921 - November 11, 1998.