Ten More Lessons From My Dad


My dad, Allen Fry, with his first grandchild in 1990.

Last Father’s Day, when I wrote Ten Lessons from My Dad, my father had passed away just a couple weeks before.

If you’ve lost someone very dear, you know it takes some time getting used to it. For months, every time I thought of him, my breath caught and my stomach dropped as if taking an unexpected plunge on a scary rollercoaster.

A year later, thoughts of my dad no longer plummet me into fear or sadness. Instead, I feel his constant, gentle presence next to me on what feels more like a Ferris wheel ride.

This Father’s Day, I’m sharing ten more lessons from my dad that are sure to help you enjoy life’s ride filled with inevitable ups and downs! (Here’s the link to the first ten lessons ~ https://lessonsinloveliness.com/2016/06/19.)

Ten More Lessons from My Dad ~

  1. Follow Your Gut. My dad was an intelligent guy, but he operated from instinct. He tried to be pragmatic. He’d do the research, gather the facts, and use his head, but in the end, I’m proud to say, his heart always won out.
  2. There’s No Time Like the Present. My dad was not a fan of procrastination. If something needed to be done, he did it. This applied to difficult tasks, difficult conversations, and difficult decisions. This single piece of advice reduces loads of dread and drama.
  3. YOLO. The phrase You Only Live Once conjures up an image of a college kid on spring break, but my dad lived by it his whole life. If he really wanted to do something, be something, or have something he did it with enthusiasm and without regret.
  4. Don’t Worry What People Think. By the time I was in junior high, I’d learned not to voice concern about what other people thought of me. “In fact, they aren’t thinking about you at all,” he reminded me, a somewhat harsh but very freeing lesson.
  5. Keep an Open Mind. Despite his own strong faith, my dad was always interested in understanding other religions. In political elections, he remained an Independent. I believe his open mind was driven by a basic belief that deep down we’re all the same.
  6. Make Memories. My dad loved to say, “Let’s make some memories!” He knew that relationships grow stronger by shared experiences. Toward the end of his life, it was clear reliving those memories brought him almost as much joy as they did the first time around.
  7. Tip Well. One of my favorite memories was when my dad gave a $100 tip to a truly terrible, but very sweet, waitress at a greasy diner in Wyoming. Regardless of the type of restaurant or the quality of the food, my dad always made a hard-working waitress’ day with a generous tip.
  8. Make Connections. When I was young, it seemed that everyone in town was a friend of my dad’s. The owner of the hardware store, the gas station attendant, the man who ran the junkyard, the bank teller, and the bagger at the grocery store all had a relationship with Dad. He made a point of connecting with the people he met on his daily round.
  9. Say Good Night. My dad made a big deal about saying good night to his children. Even during the surly teenage years, mumbling “night” on the way up the stairs wasn’t acceptable. In an almost superstitious manner, my sisters and I always gave him a big hug and said, “Good night, Dad. See you in the morning!”
  10. Say Good Morning. My dad was an early bird who woke singing a happy tune. On his days off, he loved to gather everyone together for a big breakfast featuring his famous French toast and a glass raised, “To the top of the morning!”

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” ~Clarence Budington Kelland

Think on these Things ~Alicia




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