Happy Father's Day
● By Robert Frey
Acadiana LifeStyle’s Editorial Board is always here to give us insight into some of the most interesting people in Acadiana. This time, the individuals they shared with us were some who have had possibly the largest impacts on their lives – their fathers. Here are a few words on the greatest lessons they learned from their fathers.
Happy Father’s Day, guys.
“My dad taught me the right way to do something is the only way to do something. Be honest and generous, work hard, have faith and a bit of humor and everything will always fall into place.”
“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”
“I can’t say there’s one particular lesson that has stuck with me about my father, but more in which the way he lives his life. By example, what I have learned from him is that you never compromise your moral values and the decisions you make are based on faith and family first.”
“I didn’t grow up with a father figure in my life, but my mom taught me that moms can do anything a dad can. She taught me how to work. How to get up and go to work every day – even when you’re sick. Even when you’re passed overtime and even when the job doesn’t deserve someone like you: you work. She taught me that it’s a blessing to have a job and your responsibility to keep it.”
“Whenever my brother and sisters had a decision to make, big or small, my father Gordon Schexnayder always told us to get a sheet of paper and a pencil. Draw a line down the middle of the paper and write pros Won the top of one column and cons on the top of the other. We were to list as many as we could in each column dealing with the decision. I still do this today and have passed it on to my own children. My dad was very practical and this method always seemed to simplify the issue.”
“My dad taught me so much more than words can say! I have learned from his patience and kindness as a person. He has taught me, by example, that with silence comes wisdom, to listen first before speaking, to lean on God in times of need and most importantly – to forgive. Growing up, he instilled the importance of learning, knowing that a good education was key. He taught me to put my own self-interests aside for the betterment of others. As a parent, I hope to instill the same values in my children, too.”
“My father, Dr. Vernon Voorhies, taught his children by example. A gentle man and a gentlemen every day of his life, my dad taught me the importance of kindness by the way he approached his family, neighbors, friends and patients. He treated every member of his extended family without charging them for his medical attention and was always ready to listen to me and my siblings’ account of the day even when he was tired after long hours at the office. My siblings and I always knew that my father’s patients loved him, but the outpouring of love from his former patients after dad died was amazing! Finally, I cannot ever remember my dad uttering an unkind word about another individual. He was my hero. “
“When I was a young child, I can remember the countless hours daddy spent teaching me how to pray. I didn’t know it then, but he was laying the foundation that would follow me the rest of my life. During one of our private conversations, daddy told me that when I grew up and married, I needed to always be good to my husband if I wanted a happy life. Later on, he taught me how to prioritize. ‘If you want to live a good life,’ he said, ‘you have to put God first, your husband is next, followed by your children. Remember your children grow up and leave and live their own life. Everything else in life should be after these three.’
By example, we watched daddy with his joie-de-vivre. He was totally unable to hold a grudge. As we watched him to his last days, he taught us to never give up. He loved people, loved life and mostly loved his family. He never knew a stranger, just a friend he had not yet met. He was a man that was not concerned with worldly possessions. He had many quirky ways like his obsessive interest in politics. As a WW II veteran, daddy was always worried about the direction our country was headed. He spent many hours discussing this over coffee with the other ‘elders’ of the community. They were often surprised of the disinterest on this subject from the younger generation. Daddy taught us to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk.”
“My father always told me to trust in my gut instinct regarding every aspect of life. I was taught that if I felt in my heart and soul that something felt genuinely wrong, it probably was. Sometimes your heart knows things your mind cannot explain. I have used the wisdom my father bestowed upon me through many facets of my life. This intuition has taught me how to be strong, compassionate, fair and empathetic towards my fellow man and this is a trait I am proud to carry.”