To All The Dads….For Every Moment You Never Missed
Sunday I celebrate Father’s Day. Not everyone will. For many, Sunday will be a reminder of something they don’t have. A relationship never cultivated and memories of a man who worked so hard to be a success in business, but didn’t make the same commitment to his family.
I’m getting ready to start working with a marketing and branding professional to ensure as my business grows my message and actions are in line. I was given homework to start before we begin and it won’t probably won’t surprise you to learn I’m supposed to drill down to my “why?”. There are so many reasons why. If I dig to the very core of who I am and what I do I find a memory of my father that sums it up.
My father passed away 14 years ago. I still think of him every day. I’m so glad my memory serves me well so I can still ask him questions and get my answers. He had no idea, I had no idea, in this moment I would have my own business, be expanding, have written a book, or be traveling the world. When he was raising us we rarely went on vacation because we couldn’t afford it. He worked two and sometimes three jobs in order to make sure we had everything we needed. Unfortunately, those jobs were far away and his daily commute was two hours one way to work.
We had a very active family. My sister, brother, and I played multiple sports growing up. He often could not be present to watch. Other times he would be able to catch the first five minutes or last five. I could see how much it hurt him not to be there cheering us on. When he did attend it was almost embarrassing because you would think we were professionals. He cheered us on for almost nothing and even when we struck out, missed a tackle, and dropped the ball.
As we got older it got harder on him and easier on us. We were used to it. I had stopped waiting for him to show up because now I knew about traffic. I knew about time, delays, not leaving work when the clock hit 5. I knew he sat in his car and watched each minute pass while traffic stood still knowing he would not make it in time. Until one day he did.
It was my brother’s football game. My sister and I were already there and up in the stands cheering on our little brother whom we treated more like a son. It was a fall night and we were wrapped up in a blanket on the bleachers. My brother was playing cornerback and running to cover his man in the end zone which was next to the stadium entrance. As I watched the ball spiral through the air and towards my brother and the wide receiver out of the corner of my eye I noticed my dad.
He was still in his work clothes and hadn’t stopped at home to change. He had eaten anything yet and was practically running in the hopes the game wasn’t over yet. As he turned he would see my brother intercept the football in the end zone. While he watched my brother I watched him. I saw him jump up and down and stop people as they were walking by to tell them, “That’s my son! That’s my son! Did you see my son?”.
It wasn’t the end of the game. We weren’t in the playoffs. This was simply another night under the lights. For my dad, it was the world. He had finally made it to something which would be in tomorrow’s paper. Instead of reading about how my brother played in the next day’s paper, he witnessed it live. His excitement wasn’t only for my brother’s accomplishment, it was also his own. He accomplished being there.
What is my why? That’s it. So my client never has to miss a moment. They don’t have to make the choice between work and family. They won’t have to utter the words “Maybe next time.” Or, “I wanted to be there.”
For those of you who have never had to utter those words, congratulations! For those of you dads (and all my single moms who are also dads), I long for the moment with you when it will no longer be so.
I was recently quoted in an article by Aly Walansky featuring 20 female executives about the best business advice my dad gave me which changed my life. It was not intended for business, but good life advice is good business advice. I would love to hear the best advice your dad ever gave you or your favorite story of an event your dad didn’t miss.
Because you can’t do it all yourself….Melissa Smith, The PVA is the bestselling author of Hire the Right Virtual Assistant and host of the Admin to VA Summit. To learn more about working with a Virtual Assistant contact Melissa here.