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The Quiet Lessons

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Submitted Photo "My Dad telling me about the wonderful world in front of me."

A Father’s Day message

By Mark A. Bleth

Special to the Daily Record

When we think of the lessons we’ve learned in life, we often think of teachers or instructors that actively taught us things that we would use in life, but we often forget about the quiet lessons we have learned along the way that have formed who we are today.

My dad is not one of those types of people that put their arm over your shoulder and told you how to live your life — you had to pay attention — you had to observe and you have to actually reflect to notice how big of an impact these quiet lessons influenced your formation as a human being.

I remember countless hours of sitting quietly watching the news with my dad, from Walter Cronkite to Dan Rather. My dad never chose a side of any story, no matter what his personal beliefs might have been — the quiet lesson of tolerance.

I remember how proud my dad was that all three of his sons enlisted in the military under Ronald Reagan, a president that he never voted for, but I never heard a single ill-willed word from him in the eight years he was in office — the quiet lesson of loyalty.

I remember helping my dad in the garage bleeding brakes, he didn’t explain to me really why I was pumping and holding, but I did as he asked and we got the job done — the quiet lesson of teamwork and listening to and following directions precisely.

I remember my dad never talked about the neighbors, other people or family; his only concern was his own family — the quiet lesson of not to gossip and to take care of who you love.

I remember that my dad had a good union job at a power plant in the instrument shop, but I never knew how much he made even though it was much better than the average person living in our small town. Dad kept their financial matters private — the quiet lesson of humility.

I remember how my dad would always keep scrap wood and metal in the hopes that he would need and use it again someday and he did build lots of things with recycled materials — the quiet lesson of taking care of Earth.

I remember my dad coasting downhills and turning off the air conditioning going uphill in an effort to save gas — the quite lesson of frugality.

I remember the times when my dad would invite me to play catch — it wasn’t often — but it was cherished time together, just me and my dad. His windup and his styling of throwing will always be with me even if we can’t play catch anymore — the quiet lesson of taking time for those you love.

What I want my dad to remember is, his son loves him immensely and is forever thankful for every lesson that he taught in his quiet way.

Your son, Andy

This letter is signed Andy, because my name is Mark Andrew, and my dad always called me Andy.