The Advice My Dad Never Gave Me


I don’t remember my dad giving me much advice. No long talks. No words of wisdom. When I hear someone say, “My dad always said _________”, I can’t relate. I don’t remember anything my dad “always said.”

He was a great man though.

My dad was faithful to my mom for thirty-five years…until the day she died. It wasn’t easy for him. She was an alcoholic.

When I was 12-years-old, I’d already played football for two years and didn’t want to play a third year. I’m pretty sure my dad was disappointed, but I don’t remember him trying to talk me out of it. He never pressured me to play. It was probably hard for him since he’d been a football coach. After a year off, I went back to football and played through high school and for a couple years in college. I still love football. I wonder if I would if he’d made me play.

My dad once drove five hours to see me play a football game on a Friday night at Cornell. Then we drove five hours back to New Jersey so I could come home for the weekend.

Speaking of Cornell, my dad had told that if I got accepted, he’d pay for it. I got in. He paid. Not once did he ever mention how much it was costing him, which was a lot.

When my wife, Robyn, and daughter, Rachel, moved to Arkansas in 1988, my dad drove the U-Haul the whole 1200 miles. Of course he never did let me forget the heavy boxes of books he carried up the flight of stairs. In August.

Actually, my dad did give me a lot of advice. He just didn’t use words.

I’m very thankful for him. I wish he was still alive so I could tell him.


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