Greatness! A Special Father’s Day Tribute!

Greatness!  A Special Father’s Day Tribute!

“The good that men do lives after them!”  Unknown

What makes a father, a son, a brother, a grandfather great?  These are some of the things I think made my father great.

My dad with his mom

  • Greatness is learning to do things that would make your mother proud!   

My dad always talked about the close relationship he had with his mother.

“My mother cared for me with great love and attention.” 

“My mother was an excellent cook and homemaker.  Since I was the oldest of four children, I helped my mother with many household duties.  I especially remember washing and wiping dishes–chores I don’t mind doing in my own home.”

as told by Leroy Jorgensen in his autobiography

“True greatness gains recognition because it has been observed by others, not advertised by the individual”  Don Yeager (sportwriter, author)

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit!”  Aristotle (Greek philosopher)

Dad as a young man

  • True greatness comes with equal parts of strength and humility!

Perhaps one of the things I admired most about my dad was that he lived his life with quiet dignity and great integrity.  My father always encouraged me to be teachable and learn new things that would make my life better!   In my mind’s eye, my dad instinctively seemed to know how to masterfully balance his life; he worked hard to provide for our family and gave us a wonderful lifestyle, but he also had a significant presence in our home and planned fun outings–even if it was simply to pile into the car and drive to go get fresh raspberry shakes at our favorite ice-cream shop.  My dad also knew how to discipline kindly and love genuinely!

“We all get something in life.  It’s not worth a nickel if you don’t give back.”  Walter Payton (NFL football player)

“I want to be remembered as the guy who tried…tried to be a part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being.”   Paul Newman (actor–my dad’s favorite actor)  Quoted from a statement on”Newman’s Own” brand website.

My dad, a great grandpa

  • Greatness is taking time to share your enthusiasm for life with those you love! 

My father had an insatiable desire to truly experience every aspect of living and shared that enthusiasm with his family and his grandchildren.  My dad worked very hard throughout his life and loved it!  My father enjoyed serving in our neighborhood and community; he loved this country!  My father also loved to learn and audited classes at our local university well into his 80’s.  My dad loved his family and showed it without reserve.  I’m glad that in turn, I tried to let my father know how much I loved him.  Like all of us, my dad had flaws, but he tried to improve upon them; he was quick to apologize if he felt he’d done something wrong.  I felt important around my dad and so did his grandchildren.  Mostly, he taught us to try and do our best, and more often than not, he was by our side helping us accomplish our goals in life!

“To be truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”  Charles de Montesquieu (French politician)

I hope everyone has a Happy Father’s Day!

How did your father exemplify “greatness” in your life?  If you haven’t already, tell him what he means to you!   



Celebrating Memorial Day!

memorial_dayCelebrating Memorial Day!

Like many families across America, aside from the BBQ’s and picnics, part of the tradition of celebrating Memorial Day for our family is taking the time to visit the cemetaries and gravesites where loved ones are buried.  The colorful flower baskets and small flags fluttering in the breeze commemorating military personnel is a powerful site to behold!  As a child, I was intrigued with the unusual names and dates engraved on the headstones.  You couldn’t help but wonder about the life of a young girl named, Tillie Athena Tillotson, for example, and how she died at age eleven.  My dad always had a deep love for America, and would often share heart-warming stories about his brother and other relatives who had died in the service of this great country.  My father’s sentiments recently hit a little closer to home for me, since my son, Jake joined the army as a way to pay for his dental schooling and will now continue his advanced dental training as a captain in the US Army!

image (3)My Grandma Mecham expressed very eloquently in the beginning of her life history what I think we should all be feeling as we celebrate Memorial Day!

“To be faithful to ourselves, we must keep our ancestors and posterity within reach and grasp of our thoughts and affections, living in memory and retrospect of the past, and hoping with affection and care for those who are to come after us.  We are true to ourselves only when we act with becoming pride for the blood we inherit, and which we are to transmit to those who shall fill our places.”

Whatever you do to celebrate Memorial Day, may you share time with loved ones and be especially grateful for the dedication and service of all those who have paved the way for us to live the wonderful lives we enjoy today!    

Memorial Day Traditions Is there a particular relative of yours that intrigues you, or one that you seem to share a lot in common with as you’ve heard stories about them?  


Happy Mother’s Day And Other Important Words!

Happy Mother’s Day And Other Important Words!

Hot Pink GeraniumGrowing up, Mother’s Day usually marked the beginning of a week of special events since my mother’s birthday was on May 16th.  Like most mothers, my mom didn’t need a lot of fuss and fan fare–she usually just liked having us work in the yard together, cleaning up the porch and patio to get them ready for all the fun family parties in the spring and summer weeks to come.  One of my mom’s favorite flowers was hot pink geraniums; she loved them scattered about with other beautiful flowers in her yard!  Even after I was married, one of the things I loved doing to help celebrate Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday was to help her plant big, pink geraniums in her flower beds.  I enjoy planting a variety of geraniums in my yard now, as well as putting some in hanging pots, to remind me of all the good times spent with my mom this time of year!

I have been on vacation this week at a wonderful resort in Puerto Vallarta, called the Grand Velas!  It’s been a wonderful Mother’s Day week!

Grand Velas Resort in Puerto VallartaGrand Velas Resort in Puerto Vallarta

Amazing morning and evening views that leave you without words to describe the beauty of the Grand Velas in Puerto Vallarta!  

Important Words To Remember As We Celebrate Mother’s Day!

Since I just got back from vacation, and I’ll be telling more about my mom in a few days on her birthday, I thought I’d just share one really neat thing I learned while on vacation that I’m sure will resound in the hearts of all mothers out there!

My husband attended some work meetings a few hours a day during part of our time at the Grand Velas.  One guest speaker was Don Yeager, a former associate editor of Sports Illustrated.  Mr. Yeager recently wrote a wonderful book titled,  Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions!  I read this book while enjoying some relaxing time at the resort infinity pools and beautiful white sand beaches. (I know, rough week! Ha!)  There are so many inspiring stories and quotes in this book, but one statement really touched my heart and made me think of my cute mom and all her sage advice and how much fun we always had together!  I think you might hear your own mother’s voice in these words, since like mine, she probably offered up similar sentiments to you at some point during your life!

A Short Course in Human Relations

The six most important words:  I admit I made a mistake.

The five most important words:  You did a good job.

The four most important words:  What is your opinion?

The three most important words: If you please…

The two most important words:  Thank you!

The one most important word:  We… 

The least important word: I…

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing mothers keeping it real out there; I know that most days we all work hard to be better than we were the day before…and that’s enough!