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Lessons I Learned From A Truly Great Man

November 17, 2011 | By Adrienne Smith

Lessons I Learned From A Truly Great ManI enjoy sharing things I have learned.  My posts consist of online training, social media and some personal development content.  I’ve even thrown a few personal posts in here from time to time.  Today’s post will be one of those but with a little of the lessons I learned as well.

A Truly Great Man

This post is dedicated to my Dad, John F. DeCell.  His friends all called him Jack and to this day I still have no idea why.  He was born on November 18, 1922 in their family home in rural Mississippi.  That’s right, he would have been 89 years old tomorrow if he was still with us. Unfortunately he passed away on February 23, 2003.

To say I think of him often is an understatement.  As his birthday rolls around again this year without him here, all I have are my memories.  As those memories have been heavy on my mind lately, I thought what better time to share with you all more about my Dad and some of the lessons I’ve learned from him.

The Younger Years

I am the middle child and have an older sister and a younger brother.  During my younger years my Dad wasn’t around a lot.  When he wasn’t in the hospital recuperating from yet another surgery, he was on the road traveling.  He was a salesman and was given three states to cover.

I remember when he was home and if we wanted something we would all go ask him.  We always heard the same thing each time, “go ask your mother”.  Yep, that man was smart. He knew who ran this household and it sure wasn’t him.

Positive Attitude

My Dad never sat any of us down and shared life lessons with us.  I guess you could say that the majority of the lessons I learned from my father were from watching him deal with so much in his life.

I’ve mentioned this in other posts but my Dad was sick almost his entire life.  Shortly after he was born he contracted pneumonia and the doctor’s didn’t expect him to live.  Later in grade school he was stricken once again and be became so ill that they held him out of school for an entire year.

In his early 30′s he had a heart attack, his appendix burst and he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Metastasis Epimyolpitheld Carcinoma.  There were only five people in the world with this same type of cancer and ten years before my father passed away, he was the only survivor left.  About 12 years before be passed away he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

He volunteered at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for many years and was one of the founders of the Anderson Network.  The Anderson Network is a unique cancer support group of current and former patients who have been through what most patients are going through and are there to offer advice and encouragement when it’s needed.  My father even took a course to learn how to speak Spanish so that he could communicate with those who didn’t speak any English.

He always had such a positive attitude about the cards he had been dealt and just left it all in God’s hands.  He went through some very difficult times and we almost lost him several times after his surgeries.  Through it all, he always remained positive.

My Dad and I had a lot in common so I love to give him credit for my positive attitude. When I would be having a bad day and I would call him up to complain he use to always tell me that it could be much worse.  I could be laying in a hospital bed dying of cancer so the problems I feel are worth my time are tiny beyond comparison.

The lesson learned is stop sweating the small stuff because in the big scheme of things, they just aren’t really important.  Where you are in the present moment is what really counts.

Sense of Humor

When we were kids and would visit my grandmother, my Dad would sit out on the front porch and tell stories of some of the jokes his Dad use to pull on some of the help.  His father passed away when I was just four years old so I don’t remember him at all.  My Dad never let us forget him though and boy was he a character.

The jokes he would play were all just innocent fun stuff.  It didn’t matter how many times I heard those stories I still laughed like it was the first time.  They were just hilarious.

My Dad was a big cut up too.  Apparently he walked in his fathers footsteps when it came to having a great sense of humor.  At his memorial service a lot of his close friends and even family members got up and told stories of all the jokes and pranks he use to pull.  He really just enjoyed life to the fullest.

My lesson is to lighten up, enjoy life and just be happy.  There is always room for laughter in your life.  

Have Faith

I knew my Dad always had faith and that things would work out the way they should.

I learned after his passing in a conversation I had with my brother just how strong my Dad’s faith really way.   Back in the late 90′s my brother was going through some of his own issues so my Dad told him a story.  He said he didn’t tell many people because the ones he did tell thought he was just nuts so he decided to just keep it to himself.

My Dad’s first cancer surgery was in 1958.  This rare form of cancer attacks the weakest part of your body so his first experience with this was in his face.  They didn’t know how to treat this type of cancer so each time it had to be surgically removed.  The doctor’s told him that if they did remove all of the cancer he would more than likely be left with no use of the right side of his face.  Now, my Dad was a salesman with a young wife and three small children.  If this ended up happening, he had no clue how he would ever support his family since this was his livelihood.

While he was in the hospital, Reverend Milton Jordan (a family friend) visited him and asked if he would like to pray.  My Dad was literally scared to death of what could happen to him on that table so he was more than willing to pray with Reverend Jordan.  He proceeded to ask God to save my Dad so that he would have a good life and be able to support his family.  My Dad said at that very moment a real bright light appeared and startled him so that he jumped straight up in the air.   As soon as that happened he had immediate peace and knew that everything was going to be just fine.

Sure enough, when he was wheeled out of surgery even the doctors were amazed that there was no permanent damage.  He knew there wouldn’t be and from that moment on knew that God was watching over him.

The lesson here, you must have 100% undeniable faith that everything will work out the way it should.  What you think about you bring about.

Wisdom

What I admired about my Dad later in life is that when I wanted some advice I could go to him, sit down, tell him what was on my mind and he never told me what to do.  He would weigh the options, give me about three different solutions to my problem but he would always let me decide what the best solution for me was.

I really respected that later in life because I felt that my Dad trusted me enough to make the decision that was best for me.  That I am 100% responsible for how I chose to live my life and that if I did make a wrong decision, it’s no ones fault but my own.  The final decision is up to me.

I learned to take full responsibility for my own actions.

Happy Birthday Dad

Although I wish my Dad were still with us,  I know he’s in a much better place.  We were blessed to have had him for 80 years and the problems he had to go through in his life, the doctor’s were amazed he lived that long.  I believe it was his will, determination and faith that pulled him through.

I was with my Dad the last week before he lost consciousness and we had our glass of wine together like we always did when I visited him.  He told me how proud he was of me, how he wished he had helped me more with my school studies since he knew how much I struggled but that I had grown up to be an outstanding young lady.  He thanked me for always being there for he and Mom.  There were never any words unspoken between my Dad and me.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

I hope that this post will benefit anyone who reads this that might have some riff with someone in their life.  Maybe you’re mad at someone over something that happened some time ago and you haven’t spoken in awhile or maybe it’s some family argument that has never been resolved.

There are too many people who have lost loved ones in their lives and never had a chance to tell them just how much they meant to them.  They let all that small stuff get in the way of what’s truly important.  Family!!!!

Make peace, tell them you love them and move past the small stuff.  Trust me, in the scheme of things you’ll look back when it’s too late and you’ll think this very same thing.

I apologize for the length of this post but I do hope it was helpful for some.  Are there any words that have gone unspoken with someone in your life?  As the year approaches the end, isn’t it time to put that all behind us and move forward?  I know it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will always be easy but isn’t it worth it?

Thank you all for taking the time to read this post!  Now go tell that special someone just how much they mean to you.


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{ 103 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Adrienne,

I have been thinking allot about my dad recently. Maybe it was Veterans Day because I did my post on him. But I have thought a lot how much I really miss him.

My dad was a very quiet person and really never talked to us much about small things. If we needed anything though all we had to do was go to him and tell him. He was always there for us.

I lost older sister when I was very young. My brother and sister were not born yet. In my fathers last years I would go and take him out to lunch whenever I could and he would always say to me “do you remember Neoma”. It was so nice to talk about her with him since it was something we shared.

Great post and your father sounds like a great man.

Dee Ann

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2 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Hi Dee Ann,

I read your tribute to your day on Veterans Day Dee Ann and I thought it was so very moving. Of course knowing that my Dad’s birthday was coming up always brings up very strong memories of him. I have photos of him all over my house as well and he was such a huge presence in our family.

I didn’t know you lost a sister early on. My Mom actually lost a child too but that was before I came along. It was the boy my Dad wanted so badly which is the only reason they continued to try. So although I hated that they had to go through losing a child, had they not I wouldn’t be here. I’m glad you had those memories of Neoma with your Dad. I bet they were special.

No one can take the place of a Dad can they? Especially when you consider yourself to have been a Daddy’s girl. The older I got, the closer we became. Gosh how I miss that man.

Thank you for sharing that with me Dee Ann. I really appreciate it! Our Dad’s will always remain in our heart! ♥

~Adrienne

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3 Carolyn
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Adrienne, thank you for this touching and inspirational post in honor of your father for his birthday. How fortunate you and your family are for having had your father with you for so many years to inspire you to fulfill your potential.

When I opened your post and saw the picture, I knew it had to be your dad. He had the same brilliant light in his eyes as you do!

Your positive attitude and your strength of spirit are your father’s most impressive legacy. You are definitely following in him in his impressive footsteps!

Well done. :-)

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4 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you Carolyn for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate but I’m so proud of my Dad that I decided this was as good a time as ever to share with my wonderful readers just what a special man he truly was.

As the years went by we grew closer and closer so his passing really hit me hard. Our entire family was so blessed to have had him as long as we did. His mother lived to be 89 and she use to say to him, “son, why am I still here”? Dad would tell her that God wasn’t done with her yet. We all felt the same way about him.

Watching that man go through everything he did and beat the odds over and over again definitely gave me the positive attitude that I have. When people have some horrible disease or start feeling sorry for themselves, my heart goes out to them don’t get me wrong. I don’t wish bad health on anyone at all. But keeping a positive attitude and fighting with every ounce of your being, that’s what you should be spending your energy on. That’s the biggest lesson I have learned from him although there were many others along the way.

Thank you Carolyn, I appreciate your comment. It means a lot. Have a beautiful day now okay!

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5 Bruce November 17, 2011 at 8:48 AM

A lovely post Adrienne. Veterans day also go me thinking about my Dad as well, and though it’s been over 30 years since he passed, the memories are still crystal clear, a testament I think to the love and esteem I had for him.
~Bruce

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6 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Veterans Day will do that won’t it Bruce?

I can’t believe my Dad has been gone almost nine years. I know like you I’ll look back some day and say it’s been 15 and then 20. My grandparents have been gone for 22 years and I can still see them in my mind’s eye. Like my Dad, they were such a huge part of our family. I’m just thankful I had them all as long as I did. I am truly blessed.

Thank you Bruce, I appreciate you stopping by and sharing this with me.

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7 Justin
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Hi Adrienne,
This is a very touching and heartfelt post.

“The lesson learned is stop sweating the small stuff because in the big scheme of things, they just aren’t really important. Where you are in the present moment is what really counts.” This is so true, why do we keep forgetting to remember this one?

It always amazes me when I hear of stories like your Dad and how he was able to keep a positive attitude about his situation in life. Many people complain and get upset about the smallest things and your Dad had a “real” problem to live with, yet he was able to keep his faith and remain humorous and positive.

Awesome Adrienne, Thanks for sharing! :)

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8 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Hi Justin,

Thank you, I wanted to do this justice! :-)

I’ve learned so many great lessons from him Justin that I could probably write a book. There is still plenty that I didn’t share but this post was too long as it was. One of the things I’ve noticed with people is they are so ready to judge people or gripe and complain constantly about stupid stuff that don’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Having lived with someone who fought every day to stay alive will definitely put things in perspective for you. It’s so unfortunate that most people will never “get this” until something tragic happens to them or someone they love. By then, the majority of the time it’s just too late.

I think the way my Dad saw this was God didn’t give him more than he could handle. Over the course of his life he truly inspired and helped a lot of people. It was standing room only at his memorial service and we heard story after story of Dad visiting them in the hospital or coming over to lend support or stopping by to check on them. Things he never really shared with his kids.

He always kept a positive attitude and his sense of humor along the way. I mean why feel sorry for yourself because this was just the cards he was dealt. He made a conscious decision early on to either face this like a man or go out like a wimp. I’m sure glad he chose the first and we were blessed to have had him as long as we did.

Thanks Justin! :-)

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9 Steve Scott
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Adrienne,

Such a moving post. What a great tribute to your dad! I am sure he is in heaven reading this with great affection. It is great that your dads positive example continues to give you guidance and strength in life.

I have always believed that, no matter what else happens in life those we care deeply for will always have a place in our hearts and souls and help guide us even when we are not around.

A wonderful tribute.

Steve

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10 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Thank you Steve, I hope I did him justice. I have no doubt he’s with me every single day!

Whenever I do catch myself a little down, I can hear him talking to me. I can hear what he use to always say to me. He is one of the people who helped me learn a lot about living in the present moment even when at times it was so very difficult. All I had to do was think of every single thing that man had to deal with every day of his life. And you know what! He was happy too! Yep, anything I may even consider being a stumbling block is nothing in comparison to his journey.

I appreciate your kind words Steve. Thanks so much!

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11 Bryce Christiansen November 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM

It’s always special to me when I hear the kind words people have for their parents.

I have a hard time hearing others bad mouth their parents, because mine were always so great.

I love your Dad’s sense of humor. It reminded me of my own dad. He is not a very funny guy, but we have fun joking around with him at family events. He is always a good sport about everything, and doesn’t take it too seriously.

Great to hear more about your life.

Bryce

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12 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Hey Bryce,

I know what you mean. I always say I was very fortunate to grow up in the era that I did. Where families had dinner together every night and when we came home from school we were to go outside and play. It was just a great time growing up. Although my parents were very strict and I didn’t care for a lot of their rules, I grew to appreciate later why they had them and I even thanked them for it numerous times. They loved me and did the best they could and I wish more kids understood that today.

Your Dad does sound like he’s got the same sense of humor as mine did. He didn’t sit around telling jokes but he made it fun to be around him and would cut up with you in an instant. Mine did take life seriously but he had a good time along the way.

Thank you for sharing that with me Bryce and glad you enjoyed learning a little more about my family.

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13 Jack
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Hi Adrienne,

Stories like these help keep people alive even when they aren’t around to share them with us. I understand how years later the sense of loss can feel like it just happened.

I think your dad would be proud to read this. It was a lovely tribute.

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14 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Hi Jack,

My Dad was an unforgettable person Jack. We have so many fond memories of him that every time the family gets together, he is brought up. We laugh at some of the things he’s pulled over the years and know that he’s always there with us. I hope he is proud of this small tribute or at least I like to think that he is. :-)

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15 Bob Guzeman November 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Hi Adrienne,

Such a nice, feel good, post. Makes me think about Dad, Grampa, Gramma. All gone now. You sure do have to play the cards you’ve been dealt, and we don’t have a monopoly on adversity.

Your Dad was remarkable. He didn’t let tough times stop him. I can see how he was an inspiration for you.

This just makes me more determined now that I’m reminded how others have overcome much more than me.

Warmest Wishes,

Bob

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16 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Hi Bob, welcome to my home! Glad you stopped by for a visit and super glad you enjoyed this little tribute to the greatest man I know.

You are right, my Dad was one remarkable guy. You know I never once heard my parents argue or see my Mom cry. I was very sheltered I suppose but my Mom told me probably about 15 years ago now that they had made the decision when they first learned of my Dad’s cancer to just take each day as it’s given and always keep the faith that he will be brought through this. He never complained, moped around or felt sorry for himself. A longer stronger then I think I could be.

I wanted to share this message Bob to honor my Dad with his birthday being tomorrow but also to remind others that when you think you have it bad, look at all the people in this world who have it a lot worse then you. Count your blessing, pick yourself up and let’s get this show on the road. There’s no place left but up!

Thank you for your kind remarks, they are always appreciated. :-)

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17 Franziska San Pedro
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Dearest Adrienne,

what a wonderful person your Dad. I am so sorry that he’s not around. Despite all the difficulties he had to go through in his life, he lived a long and fulfilled life. I have both of my parents but my Dad has Parkinson’s and it is very challenging -especially for my Mom who is 12 years younger… I am so grateful for having wonderful parents and being grown up in a happy family -I can’t even imagine not having them any more one day. I really feel for you.

Just like you, I am the middle child, older sister younger brother. I am so very happy you share your personal stories with us. The way you talk about your Dad is so loving and caring, he must have been a wonderful man. Your memories won’t die and I know he’s watching you and very proud of you even though you can’t see him. Much love,

Franziska San Pedro

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18 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Hi Franziska,

Thank you, I kind of think so myself.

Had he not passed away when he did, it wouldn’t have been long. While he was in ICU we learned that another cancer tumor was growing in his esophagus and he would eventually suffocate. At his age he had already told us no more surgeries. He had had six altogether just fighting his cancer. We really are all so blessed he lived as long as he did although being his daughter, I wish he had lived forever. I wouldn’t have cared what condition he was in but that would have just been very selfish on my part.

Parkinson’s is not a great thing to have. Luckily for us, Dad didn’t have the kind where he shook but he did have a hard time walking because he couldn’t pick up his feet and getting out of the chair was difficult. But he would never let us help him, he wanted to do it on his own. Of course the strength in his hands started to go so he couldn’t even button his shirt and playing golf was really hard. But the day of his accident he was actually on his way to get dressed to go and shoot a round with my Mom. He was horrible at the game by then but he did it because he loved it and it made him happy.

I’m happy to hear that you still have both of your parents with you. I don’t think I have to tell you to give your parents a hug and a kiss and tell them how much you love them every time you see them. I spend as much time as I can with my Mom and being the middle child, I’ve always been the one they called when they needed something. I certainly don’t mind at all. It makes me feel like I’ve giving something back for all they’ve done for me over the years.

You are right Franziska, my memories will never die. He’s with me all the time and watching over all of us. That I do know for sure! :-)

Thank you for your loving comment. I really appreciate it! :-)

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19 Cat Alexandra
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Dear Adrienne,

Your Daddy sure sounds like he left a legacy behind in terms of what he taught through example to his children and those whose lives he touched. This was a pretty emotional *read* for me here and I want you to know that I love how you are bold to “go there” in what you share with your readers. :)

Happy birthday, John F. DeCell! You live on every day through the loving expression of your daughter, Adrienne. Well done, sir!

Have a beautiful day, chica! Thanks for the reminder to love as much and share as much as we can with every day we’re lucky to live! Each day is a present that we should enjoy more than we trouble over the things out of our control.

You’re appreciated!
Cat Alexandra

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20 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Hey Cat,

It was pretty emotional for me to write this post and I wavered some not really knowing how much I should put out there. But as this time of the year tolls around once again, he remains heavy in my thoughts. I just wish the entire world could have known my Dad. Maybe in some small way they will through me.

Did you hear that Dad? Happy Birthday from Cat! :-)

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. They truly mean the world girl! Seriously, words aren’t doing this justice for how much I appreciate you.

Have a beautiful day yourself!

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21 Cat Alexandra
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 11:00 PM

:) You make me smile, Adrienne! Thank you for that. You’re fantastic and I’m absolutely certain that you Dad is proud of the woman you are. I can understand where you’re coming from even better now knowing who your sweet daddy was. It’s all coming clear…so yes, I agree with the assessment that a nice chunk of the world is getting to experience him through one vessel that he created which lives on and shines a bit of his essence.

You go girl. You’re a great birthday gift for your Dad. I hope he’s smiling with affection and pride where ever he is. :)

You have a great night, Sister!
Cat

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22 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Thank you Cat.. From your lips to his ears! :-) You’re the best!

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23 Rusty
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I really enjoyed this post Adrienne as I have been making trips back and forth in order to spend time with my dad who is soon to turn 91! Last year I organized a birthday gathering in honor of his 90th birthday. Although, sad to say, I did not live with my dad from the time I turned 7 as my parents had divorced, I never lost a true respect for him and love that has lived on through the years. He was a really good man who till this day still blames himself for “not being there for us” as kids. But, despite some difficulties that he had gone through in his lifetime. battles with alcohol, I do not remember any of these negative things he went through, all I can remember are the positive things he did for me. When I left home and was away across the world, he wrote to me asking my permission to get remarried! (I was only 16 years old), it was so humbling but an amazing sample to me of love and respect and I wrote a post about this incident that will stay always with me! I agree, we need to love the ones we have whilst they are with us, the day may come, sooner than we would ever think, that we will no longer have the blessing to have them near us! Wonderful post Adrienne and thank you for introducing us to your dad!

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24 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Wow, your Dad will be 91 soon. That’s terrific and I do hope he’s still in reasonably good health.

Sounds like even though you two didn’t live under the same roof while you were growing up you were still able to keep that special bond. I admire that and don’t quite understand some parents who after they divorce just seem to drop out of the picture. That was so humbling of him to ask you, at 16, for permission to marry again. That goes to show you what kind of man he is. I admire that Rusty!

How true, how true! Be sure to love the ones you’re with because anything can happen at any time. Never let words go unsaid. Too many people live with regrets and that’s just not a healthy place to be.

Thank you for sharing this with me Rusty! It meant a lot to learn this about your relationship with your Dad as well. I can tell he loves you very much!

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25 John Garrett
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Hey Adrienne!

Like others, this post moved me a lot. I know your dad must have been very proud of you. I’m happy he lived the life he did because it brought you into all of our lives, so he did have much to be proud of.

I hope getting this out helps you during this time. It’s always difficult when those birthdays come around,I know.

I lost my dad to cancer back in 1995, and it seems like not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or try to measure up to him in some way.

That’s why we can’t dwell on the small stuff as you say. We have to use the time we have and keep striving, I know I do. All my best wishes to you!

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26 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Hi John,

Thank you, I really appreciate that!

You know, writing about my dad really did help. You are right, birthdays and holidays have never been the same without him here. There is just this hole in our family now. He was such a huge part of that!

I’m so very sorry you lost your Dad to cancer John. I hate that it doesn’t care who it gets or what age. I remember going to doctor appointments with him and watching the kids walk by with no hair and pulling their IV’s around. Now that really broke my heart.

I have a feeling you know exactly what I mean about not sweating the small stuff. When you have someone in our life who is facing so many hurdles, doesn’t everything else just seem so unimportant? I know it certainly does for me.

I appreciate you sharing this with me John. It really means a lot.

Best to you my wonderful friend! :-)

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27 Dia November 17, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Hi Adrienne,

This was a very touching post. You shared your heart with us in this post! We always get affected by others especially our parents. It seemed your father had a great faith and this faith is what keeps us moving forward my friend in life. Thanks for sharing this heart felt post with us.

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28 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Hi Dia,

Thank you, I just felt the need to share more with you all about just how special I felt my Dad really was. It’s hard to see another birthday go by without him here to celebrate it with us.

Had it not been for his faith Dia we would have lost him a very long time ago. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would not be the person I am today had he not been in my life. I’m just so blessed to have had him as long as we did.

Thank you for your wonderful comment. It means a lot!

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29 Ruth
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 7:22 PM

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad Adrienne. From what you have described about his nature and his values he would be very proud of you indeed! You’ve shared some very inspirational advice, drawn from his memory – advice that I will take to heart. Thank you so much for this very intimate and lovely portrait!

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30 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Thank you Ruth, I appreciate that! I guess we all go through certain things in life that mold us into who we are today. I’m definitely glad he was there to teach me so many inspiring traits.

I appreciate you sharing that, thank you! Hope your day has been wonderful!

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31 Mouh
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 5:44 AM

What a beautiful tribute, Adrienne. Your dad was such a great man..

I am so sad he had to go through a lot of hardship… He was diagnosed with Metastasis Epimyolpitheld Carcinoma… My brother said that’s a rare cancer that affects the skin, right? This reminds me of my mother….

“There are too many people who have lost loved ones in their lives and never had a chance to tell them just how much they meant to them. They let all that small stuff get in the way of what’s truly important. Family!!!!”

I lost my mother because of cancer. I know what those words mean. I really do.

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32 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Hi Mouh,

He definitely had a rough go of it over the years but he never gave up.

No, this one didn’t affect the skin. What it did was attack the weakest part of your body and of course, start to grow. It started in his face and each time it came back it ended up attacking his lungs. He had it twice in both lungs. By the time he left this world, it was not only back in his lungs again but also now in his esophagus. The doctors that were treating him couldn’t believe he had survived all these years with only half of each lung. That’s because they had to remove the cancer each time which had eaten away at each lung.

You are so right Mouh. In the big scheme of things think of it like this. At the end of your life, don’t you want your family and close friends there with you? All the big houses, cars, luxury items and money aren’t going to comfort you when it’s all said and done. I just wish more people would realize this before it’s to late. I say this because I know some people who let their anger take over and never had the chance to say those words they wanted to. It now eats away at them and it’s hard for them to forgive themselves. It breaks my heart.

I knew that you had recently lost your Mom to this horrible disease. My heart goes out to you Mouh. I’m just so thankful you were there with her and she knew how much you meant to her. To me, that’s the most important thing. Them knowing how much you loved them. They definitely are able to rest in peace and take that with them.

Thank you Mouh for sharing that with me. You are one special young man and I so appreciate you! I hope I tell you that enough.

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33 Mouh
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Thanks a lot Adrienne. Thank you. :)

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34 Angel
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 7:34 AM

Hi Adrienne,
This post is the story of a man that despite he suffered a lot, he never gave up.
I personally learn from you and him. We sweat the small stuff many times, and we don’t realize how much worse is happening around, we are blind and ungreatful, truly a disgrace of humankind.

What is all this crisis all about if not an expression of our horrible shortcomings?.

In Spain we say: ” ¡Te ahogas en un vaso de agua ! “, meaning: ” You drown in a glass of water.! ” Isn’t it the same than ” Don’t sweat the small stuff? ”

May God changes our minds!

By the way your father didn’t sweat the small stuff, he was doing that with the really big ones. He was maybe drowning in a huge ocean, but never in a glass of water, and even like that he resisted till the end. You had a very good father Adrienne.

Warmly, Angel.

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35 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Hi Angel,

Thank you so much for sharing that with me Angel. You are so right, I wish more people would stand up and really pay attention to what’s truly important in this world we all share. Of course I know a few people who actually need to grow a heart before they can become a better person.

I love your saying in your country and I agree. It does mean the same thing.

I appreciate your oh so kind words Angel and I have no doubt my Dad does as well. You’re the best! :-)

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36 Barry Wells
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 7:24 AM

Hi Adrienne,

What a lovely tribute to your dad. He sounds like he was a tower of strength and wisdom. People with long term illnesses find a strength that carries them through and your dad certainly had that. It was really good that he weighed up the options and let you decide which to take. I always try and do that with my children and when they’ve already done something I ask what lead them to do it and point out the options they had.

You said about making peace with our ex-loved ones Adrienne and you’re right but unfortunately the relationship i would like to mend has gone to long broken. My so called father isn’t a man of substance, in fact i now refer to him as my sperm donor :(

He and my mother were married 21 years and had 5 children (i’m in the middle), when he decided to run off with another woman. I was 10 years old when on October 14th 1974 he left home, as he was leaving I dived on to the floor grabbing his leg and begged him not to leave us. He kicked me off his leg and left, never to return, leaving my mum and 4 young children (my sister, the eldest had married and left home) of 15, 10, 6 and 4 years old. Like I said he never returned to see any of us, never sent a Christmas or birthday card. He had only moved 10 miles away but never came back nor did any of my uncles and aunts :(

I had my accident 20 years later and as I lay in my hospital bed my wife was pinning up get well soon cards and a friend asked if I had noticed anyone that hadn’t sent a card? “yes my dad” was my reply. None of his family had either (my so called uncles, aunts and cousins who lived just down the road).

Then in 2009 my mum was in hospital after suffering from an burst aneurysm near her brain and as she’s deaf the staff need to write things down. So my wife and I went to buy a writing pad from the canteen when I suddenly saw him and his new wife. I recognised him straight away and told my wife who he was.

His wife saw me, recognised me and gave him a nudge. He looked up, we made eye contact and he then turned and walked away again. I was angry and hurt all over again so called after him “nothing changed since 74 then, still running away from your children, John Wells the #####!”

Had he have stopped to talk I feel we could’ve put most of the past behind us and started a relationship but again he took the cowards way out and walked away.

So you see Adrienne, when I read or hear of great dads such as yours I have to take my hat off to them. Your dad faced more trials in his life than mine did and was man enough to come through them with a strength and passion that he passed onto his children.

I salute your Father Adrienne for he was a proper man and a real dad. It’s good that you wrote this post to honour him. Great men deserve that.

Thanks Adrienne, I hope today isn’t to sad for you my friend.

Respect and Regards,
Barry

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37 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Oh Barry,

I’m shedding some tears as I read your comment. My heart is breaking for you. I know I tell you all the time just how blessed I am and now you know why. I didn’t come from a broken home, I always had that love and support around me. My parents were married 52 years when my Dad passed away. My life was not perfect by any means but I didn’t have to go through the trials that you faced. My Dad might have had health problems my entire life and we dealt with them when they came but he was always there for us.

Over the years I’ve had friends who were angry and bitter because of dead beat fathers or mothers who didn’t give a rats ass about them. My heart broke for them but I’ve never walked in their shoes.

Maybe you will never know why your Dad left his family but you have to know Barry that it had nothing to do with you. It’s the kind of man he is, or in his case isn’t. It boggles my mind how any person can leave their children and never look back. I can’t even comprehend that.

We can all second guess why his entire family has nothing to do with any of your family. You know that some riff happened between the adults and those are the kinds of people who don’t care anything about changing who they are or their circumstances. That’s sad for the kids but he has definitely taught you how to be a much better father and I have no doubt that you are.

Thank you so much Barry for sharing that with me. Although he is an absent Dad, I have no doubt you are a terrific one. All I know is that I believe you are one special guy.

I appreciate you Barry! :-) Have a wonderful day now.

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38 Barry Wells
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Thanks Adrienne,

When we got home from the hospital that day my wife told our children what had happened. They were obviously concerned as they know how it has affected me, so when they asked if I was ok I simply said that I was twice the man he’d ever be, a far better son than he ever was and a better dad than he could ever imagine.

One thing he taught me was not to do :)

Now I have a lovely wife that i love a little more every day and 2 fantastic children that make me extremely proud.

Thanks Adrienne, have a happy day :)
Barry

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39 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM

You are definitely a much better man for sure Barry! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! :-)

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40 Sylviane Nuccio
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Hi Barry,
I couldn’t help but recognize your familiar face :) I am sorry to hear that about your dad. Unfortunately, we don’t choose our family. My brother whom I always loved and who loved me has not talked to me for the past two years based on a religion matter. At the time I am writing this he doesn’t even know if I am dead or alive, because I know that he has not even “thought” about Googling my name :)

My father died when I was 5 in a car accident and my mother has now Alzheimer and doesn’t even know that my bother and I are not talking.

And I am divorce with no children LOL!!!!

Sometimes I think that it’s only because I am very much involved with the “inner/personal development” that I am able to make it.

This is sometimes the sad stories of family.

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41 Harleena Singh
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 9:20 AM

What a beautiful tribute to your dad Adrienne!

It touches my heart to read such beautiful and heartfelt real life experiences. The moment I saw the picture I knew it was your dad, as you resemble him so much.

I loved each line you wrote about him, there was so much of feeling and emotion coming out from the words, and I could feel you convey those feelings right through. I guess, where parents are concerned words just flow.

He would surely be proud of you today, as he was years back and would be delighted to see such a wonderful write up.

I can well imagine the loss in your life, and though we have to live on as we have no option, but to remember and treasure those memories and awesome life lessons our parents taught us is what makes our treasure, and life worthwhile.

I lost my mother due to cancer around the same time as you lost your dad, and I wish I could have said so much to her, thanked her for so many small things. Words are never enough to convey what we really feel within, and sometimes you cannot express what you want to also.

That is so true as you mentioned at the end of the post to always say what you want, as you never know about tomorrow.

Thanks so much for sharing a part of your life with all of us and reminding us to connect and love our dear ones. :)

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42 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Hi Harleena,

Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed my tribute.

I definitely inherited his laugh lines and he inherited them from his Mom!

I think that sometimes we don’t appreciate our parents enough while they are still with us. A lot of people just take them for granted thinking they will always be here for us. I’ll share a story with you if you don’t mind. When we were young our parents never told us they loved us. They obviously never heard it from their parents and it’s not because they didn’t. It’s because they never heard it from theirs either.

When my brother and I were young we made a conscious decision to start hugging them each time and telling them we loved them. It probably took several months before they started becoming comfortable with it and would do the same in return. Ever since then, we never left the house without giving them a hug, a kiss and telling them we loved them. That’s all it really takes you know!

I’m so sorry your mother was taken by cancer as well Harleena. I hate that it affects so many households. I have a very dear friend dealing with it right now for the fourth time and he’s younger then me. He has two young boys and a wonderful wife. It just makes me so sad.

Never let words be left unspoken. Even if you just send an email to someone and let them know what they mean to you. You just never know when our time will come. Hopefully we’ll all be here for years and years and years. :-)

Thank you so much Harleena for sharing your heart warming words with me. I so appreciate that and you as well. I hope you know that! I always want to be sure and those I care about. Now, go have yourself a beautiful day.

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43 Harleena Singh
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Thanks for sharing your story- I loved it!

Yes, the same thing happens with us, though my mom was very expressive and made sure she hugged and kissed us each time, but we kids were not very expressive, till it was instilled into us. Now of course, it has become a habit.

I guess certain things work best when they are enforced, as we don’t tend to realize its worth till after we get down to doing it.

Thanks so much for your warm words and beautiful comment, it is indeed always a pleasure to visit your blog :)

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44 Jeffrey Morgan
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Oh I’ve got words that have gone unspoken with someone in my life. I hope I never get the chance to speak them …….. actions speak louder than words!

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45 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I have a feeling I might know who that person is! Maybe? Just glad that’s not the case with you and Carolyn. I know you tell her ALL the time just how very special she is, right!

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46 Jeffrey Morgan
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Sorry ……… I can’t screw-up the courage to do so as often as I should ….. seeing as how I have damn near ruined Carolyn’s life with this mess! 4 years 3 months 1 day and counting …………

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47 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Sometimes we have to be the bigger person but I have a feeling right now might not be the best time to approach them. When it’s up to the other person to do the changing, we can’t force these things to happen.

Carolyn stands by you because she loves you so I do hope you tell her enough how much you appreciate and love her. I have a feeling you do! You better… ;-)

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48 Adam Paudyal
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Wow Adrienne – What a tribute to your Dad! You must be real proud to be a daughter of such a magnificent person. Reading your post reminded me of the recent death of Grandma. You see, she wasn’t my Grandma by blood but she was my real Granny! I miss her so much. But I know she is in a better place.

Anyway, thank you for sharing these lessons Adrienne. Reading these lessons you have learned reminds me of how truly important those lessons are. Present moment is what really counts. So very true. And stop sweating on the small stuffs, lighten up, enjoy life and have faith – those are some true gems my friend.

Appreciate it.

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49 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Thank you Adam, I do hope I’ve done it justice.

He did teach me some awesome life lessons! I’m truly honored to have been his daughter, I had fabulous parents. I’m one very lucky young lady!

I understand what you mean Adam. I have two children in my life that I call my niece and nephew although they are not blood related. My brother is the only one in the family that had children and he also had a boy and a girl. So I’m always proud to say that I have 2 nieces and 2 nephews because to me, they are in every since of the word.

That’s one of the things I wanted to accomplish with this post Adam. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that in the big scheme of things, the small stuff just isn’t very important. I’m sure you know that as well but even I need to be reminded from time to time. I hope that post did just that.

Thanks for sharing this Adam and hope you are having a wonderful day!

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50 Peggy Baron November 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Oh Adrienne,
It sounds like you had a wise father and he certainly passed along his wisdom to you!

Those are great lessons to live by. The wisdom one was great… your dad weighing the options and giving you 3 possible choices, yet letting you decide. That’s what I try to do with my older kids – let them make their own choices but give them options.

Have a wonderful day, Adrienne!

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51 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Hi Peggy,

I’m not real sure what age I was really when I understood the lessons he shared with me. All I know is I’m sure glad he did.

I’m so happy to hear you do the same for your kids Peggy! I think that it makes us feel like we are in control of our own lives instead of our parents always telling us what to do. I know at times I wanted him to do just that but in the end I realized that it really was up to me. I had to take responsibility for whatever decisions I made. Fabulous lesson for me!

Thanks Peggy and you have a wonderful day as well!

~Adrienne

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52 Barry Ranns
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Hi Adrienne,

Your father truly was a wonderful man, and who we are today is influenced by by who they were.

My father was the complete opposite to yours. He was a hard worker, and always brought his wages home, but he was an old fashioned north country Englishman, and any kind of emotion was not to be shown at any time where it could be seen by others. Consequently, we, my two older sisters and I, never knew what it was like to have a hug, or be told we were loved. It was expected we knew, but he would do anything for us.

I saw him alive 3 days before he died, and he was still no different, after 78 years you can’t expect any changes. I was at his bedside after he slipped into a coma and still there when he died, and because of his influence I didn’t show any emotion.

And that is what hurts me the most, because I find it hard to show any emotion to my family, fortunately my wife, Kate, makes up for me.

I am sure your Father will be in Heaven now having a round of golf, and telling his friends all about his wonderful family.

Barry

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53 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Hey Barry,

Actually Barry, my brother and I were the ones to teach our parents how to show affection. They obviously didn’t receive it as children so the hugs, kisses and telling each other we loved them started with us. They showed us in other ways too but sometimes we have to be the ones to take that first step.

I hope that you have learned from your father or what you don’t want and reach out to your own children and give them a hug and a kiss. Let them know how much they mean to you. Make up for what you didn’t receive. It’s never to late to begin.

We always joked about that. Dad couldn’t wait to get to heaven and play a round of golf on the most magnificent courses. He was healthy now and really was back to enjoying the game. :-)

Thanks for sharing that with me Barry!

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54 Bill Dorman
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Jack is the common nickname for John. You certainly remember John F Kennedy; they frequently referred to him as Jack as well.

I have no doubt it was your dad’s attitude and faith that allowed him to live as long as he did. What a testament indeed.

My father passed away on a July 30th and every time it rolls around I get a card from my sister just to say she is thinking of me; simple and sweet, but I know she still thinks of my father a lot.

What a great story to share and you can make it as long as you want to.

I hope you have a great weekend.

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55 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I know plenty of people named John and they called them “Johnny”, not Jack. John is just as short so why Jack? Honestly, I’ve never heard this term accept for my Dad. I don’t really recall JFK being called Jack. But what the heck do I know right!

Sorry your father is no longer with you either Bill. That’s so thoughtful of your sister to always send you a card. Does she do the same for your Mom? Assuming she’s still with you that is.

Glad you enjoyed his story Bill and thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. They are always welcome here. I appreciate that lesson with the Jack. Learned something new today!

Have a great weekend yourself!

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56 Bill Dorman
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 6:33 AM

That is funny they use Jack as the nickname; like John must be really hard to say, huh? I’m sure Google has an answer for us………..

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57 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM

That’s what I was thinking Bill. John, like it really needs a nickname! I’m still scratching my head over that one.

Yeah, I’ll have to Google that but I have a feeling I’m not going to get a smart answer if you know what I mean. ;-)

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58 Ilka Flood
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Hi Adrienne,

What a wonderful tribute to your dad! I know he’s up there smiling and feeling very proud of you. And rightfully so!

When I read your question, the first person who came to my mind was my grandfather on my mother’s side. Although he died when I was nine, the short time we had together left a big impression on me. He was the kindest, smartest man I know and he was very popular in the small town I grew up in. As a matter of fact, he was so well known that when I got in trouble the news usually reached home before I did.

The second person who came to mind was my mother. She was very much like her father and all the good he had in him lived on through her. Although she died at the very young age of 53 and I really only lived with her for 7 years, she used this short time to make me what I am today.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful and very personal post, Adrienne!

Ilka

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59 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Hi Ilka,

Ah thank you, I sure hope so!

I’m so sorry you lost these two important people in your life at such a young age Ilka. That always makes me sad when I hear that but the only good thing is that they truly did make an impact in your life while they were here. Sounds like you learned a lot from both of them and I have no doubt that having known them had some small part of who you are today.

Thank you for sharing that with me Ilka, I really appreciate that! Always enjoy hearing from you and I appreciate you sharing that personal part of your life with me as well.

Now on the brighter side, enjoy your weekend. :-)

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60 Etieno Etuk Twitter:donnylem
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

This is an awesome post, Adrienne. There’s nothing better than paying tribute to our parents because they gave up a lot to make sure that we had everything we needed to survive and make it in life. Thanks for sharing your dad’s life with all of us to let us know what a great man he was.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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61 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Thank you Etieno, I appreciate your kind words. Glad you enjoyed reading more about him and his life.

Hope you have a fantastic week as well. :-)

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62 Janet Callaway
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Ahhh, Adrienne. Thank you so much for sharing your precious memories of your father with us. He was indeed an incredible man.

In the time we have been commenting on each other’s blogs, you have shared many snippets of his life and wisdom. However, seeing the entire package gives me an even greater appreciation of the man he was and your good fortune to have him for a father for as long as you did

Coming to know you as I have, I see how much very his words and the way he lifted his life helped to shape you into the amazing lady you are.

As I reading this, Adrienne, I felt like I was reminiscing about a treasured friend; some of the time I smiled while other times my eyes puddled up.

Adrienne, this was a beautiful tribute to an incredible man. My heart is with you during this time when he is closer yet more distant.

Wishing you all the best, my friend. Take good care. Aloha. Janet

P.S. Interestingly enough, on my way down to comment I did not want to read what anyone else had to say because I wanted to feel only with you.

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63 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Hi Janet,

I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me about my Dad.

I know I’ve shared things with people throughout my year of commenting on other blogs. I mean a good bit of who I am had to do with what I learned from both my parents. With his health issues looming over our family my entire life, it’s hard to not be impacted by his struggles and how he came through them all. He’s definitely taught me a lot and little did I know that in this day and age they have definitions for them.

I recall a lot of my friends that attended his memorial service Janet had never had the pleasure of meeting my Dad. After it was over and we were standing in a receiving line, they all said that they felt like they had known him their entire life. He just was that kind of person. I guess what I did inherit from him too was that he never met a stranger, he always made you feel welcome and you walked away with a big smile on your face having been around him.

Thank you Janet, his birthday is still hard for me. And wouldn’t you know, the following week we all gather for Thanksgiving without him at the table. We have a double whammy but instead of feeling down, we laugh about all the things he use to do. It keeps him very much alive for us all.

I appreciate your kind words Janet, they really mean a lot. I just wanted to honor him instead of having people feel sorry for me. I just wish everyone had a chance to meet him but I’ll never let his memory die.

Best to you my wonderful friend.

~Adrienne

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64 Ryan
Twitter:
November 18, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Hi Adrienne,
God bless your father for leaving such a great legacy and how much of his positivity has rubbed off on you. A couple years ago my grandmother was diagnosed with rare blood cancer that attacked his respiratory system. Over a series of chemotherapy and many sleepless nights at the hospital she fought through it.
Thanks for sharing your touching story!

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65 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Hi Ryan,

I believe having some sort of inspiring legacy is what we all would like to accomplish before we leave this earth. My father just did these things naturally and he never set out to be remembered in any type of way. But he touched so many lives, not only his family.

I’m so sorry your grandmother had to deal with that. Gosh how I hate cancer! I’m so thrilled to hear that she beat this deadly disease and lives to tell of her experience. See, there are those who fight with their every being and have faith that they will make it through. God Bless your grandmother.

Thank you for sharing that with me Ryan.

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66 Ed Welch November 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Adrienne,
What a loving and inspirational post. It is sad to hear that your dad had such a tough life, health wise. I am fortunate to still have my mom and dad, but we live many miles apart. I too used to get that response “ask your mother” to any questions. Like you I was lucky enough to learn from my dads teachings he didn’t say a lot just his actions. He always worked, is a christian, mum and dad go to church regularly, lead an honest life, treat others with respect, unselfish. Basically some of the things missing in the world today. But I have hope.

Ed

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67 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Hi Ed,

Sounds like our parents were much the same. We grew up in the church, were taught respect at a very early age, they were both hard workers, extremely unselfish, never disrespectful to anyone, very honest living, just a normal family atmosphere. At least it was when I was growing up which is why I always say I’m happy to have grown up during the time that I did. Things were simple, you left your doors unlocked, your kids could play on the other side of the neighborhood with no worries, no technology to keep you in the house, life was just simpler. Ah, the good old days are gone forever!

Thanks Ed, I appreciate you sharing that with me. Thank you so much.

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68 Craig McBreen
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Adrienne,

What a nice tribute and inspirational post about your father. I can relate, because your father sounds a lot like mine in many ways. I especially love the, “go ask your mother” line :) I mean what man doesn’t know the woman is the CEO of the house? ;) c’mon!

“The majority of the lessons I learned from my father were from watching him deal with so much in his life.” It really is something how he had to deal with so many health issues, but through it all maintained a positive attitude and was even a volunteer. Now that’s a guy to look up to!

Like like my dad, he had a great sense of humor. I think this helps more than anything. And the jokes and funny things they did certainly leave great memories, don’t they?

Hope you enjoy the weekend. Thanks, Adrienne.

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69 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Hey Craig,

Thank you, I hope I did this justice.

Yeah, the old “go ask your mother” line. Like we really thought we could break him. He wasn’t no dummy! He knew who ruled the roost! ;-)

It use to make him mad Craig when the doctor’s would be by his bed talking to him and saying, “well we know what you’re going through”. He would quickly answer, “the hell you do”. That’s one of the reasons he wanted to volunteer so that he could help other cancer patients who were going through dealing with it themselves because he knew what they were going through. He could tell them what to expect like getting up the next day after major surgery might feel like your insides are about to explode but you’ll heal quicker. I use to watch him walk the halls just crying because he hurt so bad. Just break your heart.

I agree with you, the sense of humor has pulled us through many hard times. He always was kidding about something or playing a joke on someone. He would keep us in stitches and he would even joke about his predicament. In his eyes, what else were you going to do! Gripe and moan because that will get you no where quick. We definitely have all those great fun memories now and we cherish those the most.

Thanks Craig for stopping by and sharing that with me. Now go tell your Dad how much you love him and hug the living heck out of him. ;-)

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70 Craig McBreen
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 9:36 PM

You certainly did this justice!

Man, he was spunky. He really was an amazing guy. Sounds like he led by example and truly spoke through his actions.

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71 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Thank you Craig and he was definitely spunky! :-)

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72 Rob November 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Great post Adrienne, I could tell that it was a truly honest post that you wrote with meaning.

It was also a brilliant tribute to your Father and I’m sure it was a great birthday gift for him as well!

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73 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Thank you Rob, I appreciate that!

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74 Sylviane Nuccio
Twitter:
November 19, 2011 at 9:04 PM

This was a great post Adrienne. I enjoyed reading it.

I was thinking how a good attitude in life can go a long way. Some supposedly healthy people don’t even make it to 80 years of age and your dad who had been struggling with his health all his life did make it there! Positive thinking will definitely beat the odds! I truly believe that :)

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75 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Thank you Sylviane!

You know the saying, “what you think about, you bring about”? Well, by my Dad remaining positive and knowing that God would bring him through all his troubles each time, that’s exactly what happened. He never wavered and always believed. Now why he had to even go through all of that is yet another mystery but he really did impact a lot of lives while here so I have a feeling God was using him in that way.

He is definitely living proof Sylviane that if you remain positive and believe with all your heart what you know will come your way I have no doubt that it will.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and I’m glad you enjoyed my tribute to my Dad!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. :-)

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76 Deeone
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM

This was a very inspiring and touching tribute to your father, Adrienne.

It sounds like he was truly an incredible man, and possessed many great attributes that are needed to truly enjoy this life that we are so blessed to have here on earth. It would also be a blessing to have people speak good of you after you’re gone; so that this happened for your father, further confirms to me of the awesomeness that he possessed.

Your dad’s story is one that I can see purpose written all over it. Even though it might have been seen to many that he might not have lived as long as he did; it’s very clear by reading this post that their was something that needed to take place not allowing his earlier illnesses to take him from this earth until he had the chance to accomplish it.

You know from my writings that I lost my mother last September, and like you I hold dearly to the good memories she left me with. I know how important such memories are when dealing with the lost of a parent.

I’m glad that you have fond memories of him, and that you shared them with us in this post. This was one of those instances that I tend to call, “a releasing moment”. Thank you so much for sharing yours here, my friend. :)

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77 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Hi Deeone,

I believe that God wasn’t done with him in his early years. That he used my Dad to help other people and inspire them along the way. During the time he was here I had no idea some of the things he did for other people besides volunteering at the hospital. But hearing everyone talk about how he gave blood, was there to comfort them or just someone to listen to, he also would drive them to appointments if they had no one to take them, just all sorts of things. We all need someone like that in our life, wouldn’t you agree?

I knew that you had recently lost your Mom and I could so relate to what you were going through. The good memories will always remain with us a lot more than the bad. I would much prefer remembering him when he was pulling jokes on people then almost losing him after yet another surgery. Nope, good times is all I have room for these days.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Deeone. I really appreciate it and hope you are enjoying your weekend.

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78 Shirley Hoke
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 7:59 PM

HI Adrienne,
You asked the question; has anyone really inspired you? From the day I met you, you have been an inspiration to me. You are always so upbeat and eager to help. I’m amazed at what you have accomplished on the internet.

I enjoy reading your posts because you write from the heart! I especially took everything in on the beautiful post you did in honor of your father. He was quite a man! You are so lucky to have so many wonderful and loving memories.

Love you,
Shirley

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79 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Hi Shirley,

Ah, it’s fabulous to see you here. Thank you SO much for commenting on this post.

From the moment we met you have held a very special place in my heart Shirley. We became fast friends and I just enjoy you so much. I’m so happy to hear that I inspire you!

Glad you enjoyed this post. His birthday has come and gone now but we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving soon without him once again. But as you said, we have those wonderful memories and this way, we can give him a hard time and he can’t defend himself. We do get a chuckle out of that.

Thank you so much Shirley for your kind words. I hope you and Chuck have a wonderful week and a glorious Thanksgiving.

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80 Jimmy
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Dear Adrienne,

Your dad was a great example of facing adversity in life. The lessons he had taught you and us are very important for us to live a good life. I am particular impressed by how he was able to teach you by his example. Role modelling is the best way for all of us to learn. That makes living an exemplary life important.

Given your dad’s life long conditions, I am particularly interested in how your mum coped as well. That must be another amazing story that is full of lessons for us all. Consider doing a post?

Cheers

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81 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Hi Jimmy,

Thank you for sharing that Jimmy and yes, he definitely taught me lessons by example. just watching him and how he carried himself. How he treated others and everything he had to go through. He was never angry, I never heard a harsh word come from his mouth, he was truly inspiring.

Ah my Mom! She’s a truly great lady and in all honesty, she had a lot to do with his bouncing back so quickly each time. You are right, another great post to share someday. Thank goodness I still have her with me to continue that love and support. I dread the day she leaves this earth. Hopefully she’ll remain in God’s watchful eye for a very long time.

Thank you Jimmy and enjoy your week!

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82 Ashvini
Twitter:
November 20, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Hey Adrienne,

It was really moving to read things about your father. He is a great source of inspiration to hundreds who worry too much about small things and do not see the positive side of life.
I am really sure , he was a great man and he a profound impact on you. His sense of helping out and volunteering for causes has been passed to you in my opinion.
Your description about him is really very inspiring and it really helped me to reinforce some of my feelings too.

Thanks for sharing this intimate information with all of us :). Have a great day

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83 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Hey Ashvini,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it and glad you enjoyed reading more about who my Dad was and what I have learned from him. I hate that so many people have to go through their own struggles before they really appreciate what they have. But I guess that’s just part of life. Had it not been for everything he went through with his health, I may have taken a different path myself. Guess we’ll never know.

Thank you again and I hope you have a glorious week. Always a pleasure seeing and hearing from you.

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84 Nora Reed November 21, 2011 at 12:36 AM

When i was reading this article i was feeling that i am in video n i can watch all that things happening there… This is mean how true this is,
I can see you love for you father, i hope for best in peace!

btw he is really a Great man, this article inspire to do something n n bring success in my life! i really need this kind of article to get success, i meet you father n get inspire myself directly to him!

thanks:)

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85 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Hi Nora,

If we can learn from others then that is a truly great thing. I hope that my father’s life continues to inspire others that if we are healthy and life is overall pretty good for us then think what we can accomplish because he had so many struggles. I’m so happy to hear that this was an inspiration for you and I have no doubt that you can do anything you set your mind to. You just need to believe in yourself.

Thank you Nora, I really appreciate your kind words.
:-)

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86 Chadrack
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Hi Adrienne,

Frankly, I enjoyed this all the way through. Just sat here smiling to myself imagining you typing away while once again reliving your moments with your dad. I’m sure you received a new burst of strength and joy while you wrote this. I can also imagine the satisfaction this must have brought you.

Indeed, remembering loved ones, especially when they are no more with us is a great tonic, most times. And considering what your dad went through, what a great way to remember him. Indeed, he was a great man living through all that. I believe it was his faith that carried him through. I join you to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mr. John F. DeCell!

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87 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Hi Chadrack,

Ah, thank you. I did enjoy writing it although it was pretty emotional at times. Just made me miss him even more, if that’s at all possible knowing it was his birthday! But you are right, it made me feel great at the same time because he’s taught me so much and I’m able to share with my readers the lessons I’ve learned from him.

I appreciate you sharing this with me Chadrack! He was a very special man and I know that he’s smiling knowing that everyone who never had the chance to meet him is wishing him well. :-) It truly means a lot.

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88 Lisa Magoulas
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 7:38 PM

This was beautiful Adrienne. I lost my dad at age 85 in August 2003. He too was a great man and I have wonderful memories. I dream of him often and your post brought me much comfort. God bless their souls.

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89 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Thank you Lisa.

So your Dad was five years older than mine but we lost them the same year. I have no doubt that he was definitely a great man. I’m happy that this post brought you some comfort. I love hearing that. Really appreciate it and thank you for sharing that with me.

Sure hope things are going well with you! :-)

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90 Lisa Magoulas
Twitter:
November 21, 2011 at 8:21 PM

It’s been slow. I’m studying hard and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day. I just want to get going and stuff isn’t working. I love your blog though, and you’re an amazing woman with an honest, loving soul. I hope all is well with you. Happy Thanksgiving.

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91 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 22, 2011 at 9:01 AM

I know the feeling Lisa, there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we want to do. But I have no doubt that you are moving in the right direction. Just keep your chin up and keeping moving forward. You know I’m here if you need any assistance.

So glad you enjoy my blog and hope it’s helpful in some small way. That’s my goal.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family and I have no doubt you’ll be fixing a feast! ;-)

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92 Mitch Mitchell
Twitter:
November 22, 2011 at 12:45 AM

Monday would have been my dad’s and his twin brother’s 80th birthday. I wrote using my own “dad” example in a blog post today; that’s what dad’s are for. What’s funny is that what you said about his wisdom is exactly what I’ve done for years with all of my friends, and they’ve given me a nice nickname for it. How special a talent that is. Thanks for sharing this.

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93 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 22, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Wow, Monday would have been your Dad and his brother’s birthday! And they would have been 80! I’ll have to be sure and stop by and read your post Mitch.

Sounds like you and I are on the same path now. I’m the wisdom person my friends come to now. I guess it just rubbed off on me from having learned so much from my Dad. I don’t mind at all though, that’s where the love of helping people all started.

Thank you for sharing that with me Mitch. I’m sure your Dad was as wonderful as mine.

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94 Allyson Stewart November 22, 2011 at 4:01 AM

What a beautiful dedication to your dad, Adrienne. And “Happy Birthday” to him. It’s truly amazing how he stayed so positive through his illness and encouraged others to do the same. What a blessing that he still lived to be 80 years old although he had one of the rarest forms of cancer!

I can see where you get your wisdom and thoughtfulness from. You’re right; no need to sweat the small stuff. Thanks, Adrienne!

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95 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Thank you Allyson, I appreciate your kind words. I’m sure he’s really smiling at all the people who are wishing him well. He most definitely taught me a lot through my years and he’s still teaching me because I’m living by example. I’m just so blessed to have had him as long as I did.

I appreciate you sharing that with me Allyson! Thank you so much.

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96 Samantha Bangayan
Twitter:
November 22, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Adrienne, wow! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal post and what a beautiful tribute to your father. It sure has moved me to make sure that I never leave any unspoken words between me and my parents. We sure have had some tough times that seem to have closed a lot of doors between us, but I know that I can open them… someone needs to.

I especially admire your father’s strength and faith in all the health challenges he faced. That’s how I want to face the various health scares I had and have here in Peru as my body becomes accustomed to the environment.

This post is such a powerful reminder of how short life is and how we need to live it to the fullest. It’s exactly what I needed to read right now — thank you!

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97 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Hi Samantha,

I know that sometimes people get upset, they get their feelings hurt and in the scheme of things, it’s really over nothing at all. We let words go unspoken and I always pray that people will have that time to makeup. Sometimes that’s not the case so from my own experiences, are those petty differences really that important? Isn’t the love we have for each other worth more than that?

As long as you have faith Samantha, everything will be just fine. I have no doubt about that at all. I think that sometimes we just need to go through certain things whether it’s to remind us we need to take better care of ourselves or to use us to help others in similar situations. Only the big guy really knows for sure but as long as you trust that he’s got your back, all you can do is just ride it out.

Glad you enjoyed this tribute to my Dad Samantha. I know he’s smiling down just knowing that he’s still helping others through his own experiences.

Stay bless my young friend. You have a wonderful day!

~Adrienne

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98 Samantha Bangayan
Twitter:
November 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM

That’s exactly right, Adrienne! For some reasons, the emotions often seem to cover up the logic there, but love should and does conquer all in my life. =)

Thanks for being such an amazing friend! =)

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99 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 23, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I couldn’t have said that better myself Samantha! Love does conquer all!

Thank you for sharing that and you are the best. I think the world of you and I hope you and Roy are doing well! Take care my dear friend! :-)

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100 Jamella Biegel
Twitter:
November 28, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Hi Adrienne,

I saw your blog post title while visiting Cat Alexander’s page. Your post really hit home with me, as this week makes 13 years since I lost my father. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to your post. What a great tribute you’ve written for your father. I thought of doing likewise, but it is still too hard for me to do. Thanks for the post. Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season.

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101 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
November 29, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Hi Jamella,

Well thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my post. I have no doubt your Dad was as wonderful as mine. With his birthday being so close to all the holiday celebrations, it’s kind of rough with him not being here. But he was such a cut up a good bit of the time, we enjoy remembering him in that way when we are all together.

I think your blogging community would love to hear about your Dad Jamella. Think of it this way, you are helping some other people realize how important it is to love the ones you’re with right now because a lot of people don’t realize just how important those people are until it’s too late. Share the fabulous memories you have of him. I’ll admit, I shed some tears while writing this post but look at all the comments. He still lives on and I’m helping with that because of sharing more with my readers of just what a great guy he truly was. Think of it that way.

Okay, enough lectures! :-) I just appreciate you taking the time to learn more about my Dad and I hope some day you can write about yours.

Take care and hope you also have a blessed holiday season.

~Adrienne

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102 Marcus Baker
Twitter:
December 5, 2011 at 5:44 AM

Hi Adrienne,

I have to agree with all the wonderful comments left on this post Adrienne, you wrote an incredibly moving tribute to your Dad. I can sense that your relationship was very special.

The greatest lesson your dad lived Adrienne was that no matter what life dishes up in the way of health or otherwise, you still have a choice about how to respond to these circumstances. It’s always about our response and not the actual circumstances that matter most.

Valuing our relationships and what we learn from them is so important which is why I loved your advice about focusing on the good in these and letting people know why they are special in your life.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute Adrienne. It was lovely to read and very inspiring.

~Marcus

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103 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
December 5, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Hi Marcus,

Thank you for saying that, I wanted everyone to know what a special man he was and the life lessons he’s taught me.

You are so right too Marcus, it’s how you live your life and your belief that will get you further along. Life is all about choices so you can feel sorry for yourself and remain in your present circumstances or believe you are in good hands and keep moving forward.

I appreciate your kind words Marcus and thank you for sharing that with me. I truly appreciate it.
:-)

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