"What makes any of us truly happy? When I stop and think about that, my father immediately comes to mind.
He didn't sit around the dinner table at night, pontificating about such things, or talking story about who he was, or what he did. My father was a simple man, when it came to words - his actions spoke all that was needed to be said. When I think about my life growing up, and think about him, those unspoken words appear:
For too many people today, these words are thrown around lightly, tools used to get something for themselves. Not my father - they were not words, they were actions, hard-wired into who he was.
I learned what it means to really build something - a life, a home, a family - what it means to be responsible for these things, and to them. I learned what it means to actually earn these things, by hand and with sweat equity.. I learned to learn when I fail, not when I succeed. I learned to thank God for everything he provides, including the people in my life I am proud to call family and friends, and the support community formed by them. I learned to be self reliant, and self-responsible. And, I learned to have some fun and laugh along the way.
I have also learned that he was reaching beyond himself, beyond me, because now I can pass these things on to my kids, and they can pass them to theirs.
My father chose happiness, in simple honest ways. He knew what the real source of that happiness was, and now so do I. And, he will be passing that on to generations he will have never met.
Here's to you, Dale. Thank you." - Dale from Arvada, CO.