Recently, my business partner told me a beautiful story about his father and the teaching he had given him. As a man who worked with his hands, his father often created gadgets that helped him as he built things and cared for his home and he was meticulous about how he stored his tools and equipment; adding magnetized stripping to his garage walls, placing his tools in size order, creating hidden storage spaces, etc. Neat, clean and always thinking of how to make things better and always finishing each project with perfection! His lawn is always the best lawn on the block and he teaches his neighbors how to care for theirs as well. He is a teacher by nature!
One day, my business partner needed to access the vent for the attic fan in his parents’ home from the garage to open it for the season. When he went into the garage, he opened up the attic space door but couldn’t see, so he fumbled around a bit, and found a switch for the lights and flipped it on. When he turned it on however, a blue light came on as well. His first thought was, “oh my goodness, what have I done, did I touch something that I shouldn’t have?” He went ahead and accessed the vent, and opened it, and tested the unit to make sure that it was working. When he finished, he closed the door and climbed down but he realized that the blue light was still on. Now he was asking himself, “What is this blue light for and why is it still on?” He searched around for a while to try to find out what the blue light was connected to and couldn’t find anything. He did everything that he thought his father would do and he remembered to put everything back the way that it was, ensuring that it was nice, neat and clean. However, the darn blue light is still on!
He went back into the space and saw that he had left the light on and flipped the switch to cut it off and when he did, the blue light went off. It dawned on him just then, that the blue light was a reminder to cut off the switch for the attic light. “Good ole’ dad always thinking of how to make things better.” By simply adding a blue light, he reminded his son that he had left something on; something was “unfinished.” It was in that moment that my business partner realized that his father was still teaching him and he wasn’t even there with him. With every visit to his parents’ home over the last 5 months, there was something that he had to figure out, do or teach to his own family; however, in doing so, he was caring for others.
Earlier this year, Mr. Key passed away and now my business partner and his family are trying to get back in the swing of life without him. They are still trying to figure things out, why he set up things the way that he did and they realized that their father was preparing his home for a time when he would no longer be there. Setting up all of his gadgets and lights, etc. would make life easier for others and it would be like he was there; he was caring for them. He was still teaching his children lessons and that is to always care for others even when you are not physically there and leave your legacy. It was the way he lived his life and it is how his children and grandchildren live their lives too!
To all of you fathers out there reading this message, Happy Father’s day and thank you for leaving your legacy!