Things my father taught me…

By Anita Manley

In follow-up to last week’s blog about “Things my mother taught me…”, I’d be remiss if I did not list all the things my dad taught me.

In January of 1995, when I was 4 months pregnant with my second daughter, my dad died of cancer. My world came crashing down. I was only 30 years old and he was my confidante, my hero and he loved me unconditionally. I miss him terribly, but I’m comforted in the feeling that both my mom’s and dad’s spirits are watching over me.

So here, in no particular order, are the things my dad taught me, to help form the person I am today:

  1. “Everything in moderation” (I’ve passed this onto my children)
  2. How to present a business case. (It started at the age of 13, when he’d said “convince me”)
  3. Be prompt. (Notice the double dose of this – mom and dad – thus, I’m usually early!)
  4. Think like a leader. (He was a manager and would share stories of how he handled difficult situations)
  5. Be honest.
  6. How to write.
  7. “Always vote in every election. Know the issues.”
  8. How to raise concerns to a higher level. (He would often type letters on his old Smith-Corona, to his MP, MPP, etc. if he thought his voice should be heard. Then, he would get me to read it over before he mailed it. This lesson has helped me on countless occasions over the years.)
  9. Be rational.
  10. How to compromise.
  11. He modeled how a good husband treats, respects, loves and honours his wife. (Mom and dad always held hands when they walked together.)
  12. How to be patient and kind.
  13. How to carefully listen to others points of view and to respond respectfully.
  14. How to love unconditionally. (He didn’t always “like” me, but I knew he always “loved” me.
  15. How to manage money and to invest.
  16. How to drive a car.
  17. How to ride a bike.
  18. How to read a map (and to fold one– a real talent!)
  19. The importance of a routine.
  20. A strong work ethic.
  21. How just sitting there quietly, just being there, is showing support and love.
  22. Commitment.
  23. Although he did not personally teach me, he paid for (and my mom registered me):
    swimming lessons, downhill ski lessons, cross country skiing, tennis lessons, soccer team, summer community pool membership. Yes, I do realize how privileged I was. He would also drive my brother and I to a ski hill, 1 hour and 45 minutes away, and sit all day, waiting for us to finish (since he did not ski — he had a bum knee). Now, that’s commitment!

    I am truly blessed to have had the upbringing that I did. As my husband says, I won the adoption lottery!
My dad taught me many things, and would often read to me before I went to sleep.

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