I would like to share a beautiful tribute that my husband wrote to honor his father, Emmett Wayne Fuller. My husband grew up on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma and he learned the following life lessons from his dad. This tribute was read by the pastor to commemorate my father-in-law on September 6, 2008, after he lost his battle with cancer.
When we were growing up in the mid 1970's, we usually prayed for rain on the weekends, especially during the winter, because if it wasn't raining Dad would get us up early to go work outside...even if a blue northern was blowing in. Our house had a fireplace which meant we had to cut wood on the weekends to last through the coming week.
I have two memories from our early wood cutting days that had unexpected life lessons tied to them. The first was when we went into the woods with the pickup truck to get a load of wood. Dad had cut down a large tree and asked us to back the truck as close to the tree as possible so we could start loading the wood. After we filled the pickup bed to over-flowing with firewood, we got in the cab to head for the house. We traveled about six inches and the truck came to a sudden stop. We had backed the truck over the stump of the tree and with the bed loaded with wood, the back bumper was catching on the stump.
LIFE LESSON ~ Plan ahead, see the big picture, think things through before starting and cut stumps closer to the ground.
The second memory was when we went to cut wood on one of the coldest days I can remember, we had on several layers of clothes because it was so cold! It was well below freezing, the ground was frozen so we could drive across the pasture in the pickup. We worked on clearing brush and cutting fire wood until well past noon. It was getting warmer because we were removing all the extra layers of clothes we had put on earlier. When we finally cut an over-flowing load of firewood, it was time to head for the house...or so we thought. The ground was no longer frozen and we ended up getting stuck. We had to walk to the house and get the tractor to pull the pickup all the way back to the house.
LIFE LESSON ~ Expect the unexpected and don't take the easy way out. We should have taken the tractor out in the first place, but we wanted to drive the pickup because it was warmer.
There are many more life lessons like these that we learned from Dad that have helped us over the years. Most were not verbal, but if you knew Dad he lead by example and/or actions.
LIFE LESSONS ~ If you break it, you fix it. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and learn from it. Do it right the first time and be done with it. Don't ask anyone to work harder than you do. The easy road is not always the best road.
When we were growing up we thought Dad was too rough on us at times by making us work so hard; but he was using it to instill his work ethics and values in us. These values have benefited us in our personal lives and careers many times over.
It wasn't difficult to see the last life lesson Dad wanted to teach us...it was his faith. During the most trying times he would continue to pray asking for God's will to be done, even though it would have been easier to give up hope. At the end of his life, we all knew he was ready for God to call him home.
What life lessons did you learn from your father? Please share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.