Father’s Day Memories: Lessons from Dad

In 2015, I wrote a Father’s Day post “Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Father.” 

For this Father’s Day, I decided to elaborate a bit on one of the lessons:  “Love what you do” (#7 in the original list). 

In the 2015 blog post, I wrote:

“My father had a real passion for his work and also for play—as in playing basketball.  Things were not always easy on the job or on the court, but Dad stuck it out because he loved carpentry and loved the game of basketball. I am passionate about researching and writing about family history and about inspiring others to learn more about their roots and ethnic heritage.”

After my father passed away, I found a letter written by his boss (Don K.) at the time  of Dad’s retirement from the Union Railroad in 1983.

“6-24-83: John, I am sorry that I can’t make it to lunch with you on Thurs., I will be out of town on vacation.  I had to write you a note because I know of ‘no way’ to let you know how much I think of you as a man and a craftsman. This country was built by men like you who took pride in their work.  I don’t know where we will find the men to replace them and you. Good Luck in your retirement.” – Don”

This letter is a testimony to the type of man my father was–honest and hardworking.

As I contemplate changes to my own career path and ways to move in new directions, I am inspired by my father. Being self-employed certainly has its ups and downs, with obstacles and challenges. When faced with a difficult situation in my work life, I am reminded of my father’s approach to his job as a carpenter. He built, he constructed and created. His tools were hammers, nails, and saws. He measured and took his time to get things just right. He sanded out the rough edges until he completed the project. As a writer and teacher I create articles, books, and courses, and construct a career out of different pieces. There are rough edges along the way, but the goal is to complete each project to the best of my ability.

One of my favorite jobs is writing coach. Through my online writing courses, I have the opportunity to help and encourage fellow family history writers achieve their goals. (Be sure to check out the summer sale on my Write Stuff: Build Your Family History Writing Skills Intensive course). 

So, Dad, I want to thank you for instilling in me your work ethic and for always encouraging me to find work I enjoy and give it my all.  While I don’t quite know where my path will lead as I contemplate new opportunities, and take some risks, I will carry your wisdom and spirit with me as I take each step.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Copyright 2018, Lisa A. Alzo
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