I want to honor my Dad who I last saw last on December 6, 2014. He passed at midnight in the Veterans Hospital of San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 31/ January 1, of 2014/5 at the age of eighty-four.
One of the best things I learned from my late-father was the over-arching value of cultivating a champion mindset. It is what we call the ‘growth mindset’ today. Every day was important and he approached it with all the readiness and enthusiasm of every day before. He also valued preparedness. Being prepared.
The grandfather to my three children was a veteran of the ‘Screaming Eagles’ Airborne Rangers of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army. Dad also served in the U.S. Marines and was part of an elite expeditionary force in Korea ahead of the official start of the war. My Dad was an ‘All-Army’ football player and also padded up for the Rose Bowl. He was there for virtually all my own football games, straight on through high school.
He was unstoppable in his enthusiasm for making the best out of every day and lived out his life with great humility and graciousness to all people, rich or poor. He would go out of his way to make it so and was known for this.
He took joy in feeding the outcasts and homeless of Old San, Juan Puerto Rico with his church. He brought his children to feed the outcasts and homeless also.He made it clear that we were actually serving the Lord.
Dad would speak with his kids throughout the week, every week, like a coach always ready to build up his children. He would ‘lead us in prayer’ over the phone.
He called his three daughters his princesses and treated them as such. They doted on him hand and foot straight into old age.
His eldest grandchild, who was 6 at the time stumped him and the seniors in the bible study time. No one could answer the question put forth, but my boy knew and spoke at length and with confidence. I was so happy that my Dad got to witness his grandson behave so.
I am grateful for the example of service to all my father showed across his life, be it for God, country, or his neighbor. He overcame tremendous obstacles on a continuous basis across his lifespan and was steadfast in his mindset and principles throughout.