A Dad’s Instructions For Life

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This Sunday will be Father’s Day without my dad – which goes without saying that Father’s Day will be very different this year. My father sadly lost his battle with cancer – which I still can’t believe since he was a man who loved life more than you could imagine possible. He fought for his life with such tremendous courage and will – it was heartbreaking to see his body betray him.

In those last days I never wanted the look of fear or sadness to show when I was with my dad – if he was going to fight the fight then so was I. But deep in my heart I knew I was losing my dad. My dad, who did our laundry when we were kids, made our lunches, cut our nails, cleaned our ears, hugged and kissed us daily, told us how much he loved us, worked hard to give us the life he never had and most of all, always taught us that life is a precious gift, to be lived with positive energy, passion and courage.


Besides the fact that I miss him more than words can say, I am left with his voice in my head and heart. I hear his loving and vivacious words guiding me daily, like a moral compass, he’s still here cheering me on to be my best.

The most valuable gift my dad gave me, since I was a little girl, was how to really live –  instilling in me a deep passion for life, one full of joy, adventure, high energy, integrity, generosity, love, compassion and a youthful wonder of all things.

For all of you without dads, and even those who could use a little fatherly love, I share with you, my dad’s, the former US Marine, English major, athlete, actor, lawyer, real estate deal maker, sailor, US Congressional candidate, world traveler, writer, adventurer, opera singer, husband, dear friend, father, rules for a beautiful life – which he lived every day until his last….

Dad’s Instructions for Life:

  1. Never show up to someone’s home empty handed.
  2. When you borrow something, return it in better shape than when you got it.
  3. If you want good friends be a good friend.
  4. Never be afraid to cry…especially when you are moved by something beautiful.
  5. Travel is the greatest classroom.
  6. Education is the key to freedom.
  7. Reading will expand your mind.
  8. Listen to opera with your heart and sing along with your all your soul.
  9. Cook often and always with passion.
  10. Be outspoken.
  11. Stand up for the little guy.
  12. Being happy is a choice. Choose to be happy – no matter what.
  13. Live your life with integrity and you’ll always look back with pride.
  14. A year can be just another year or you can turn it into something great – either way a year will go by.
  15. Take your kids everywhere with you – the time you spend creates bonds for a lifetime.
  16. Write love letters to the people you love.
  17. Don’t ever let negative people infect you.
  18. Sailing frees the soul and opens your heart.
  19. Don’t be a quitter
  20. Finish what you start.
  21. Never give up.
  22. If you’re bored you’re probably boring.
  23. Always be generous, it’s more fun
  24. Animals are precious gifts to humans – never take their love for granted.
  25. Be the partner you want in your life.
  26. Say “I love you” often.
  27. Show your love with hugs, kisses and actions every day.
  28. Never be afraid to act foolish.
  29. Take care of people.
  30. Make fun and play a priority – even if you have to schedule it.
  31. The world is your playground, get out and play.
  32. Smile and be kind to strangers – they may end up being friends.
  33. Eat healthy most of the time – then you won’t have to deprive yourself.
  34. History is a valuable teacher.
  35. Life goes by fast – go out and live each day to the fullest that way you won’t be afraid to die.

…Miss you dad. Love, L

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