Father’s Day: Through the Eyes of a Son
Father’s Day: Through the Eyes of a Son
I hope that you enjoy this week’s article dedicated to Father’s Day this Sunday, about what the toughest SOB taught me about real life, and in turn, anything you do.
“Muscles McCullough” as he was infamously known in our working class neighbourhood of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was not a tall man, maybe 6 ft. He was head of the boxing club and school gymnastics program, and probably not the guy you would want to fight. He also just happened to be my dad. He would walk on his hands for MILES down the street to school to prove how tough he was. He built muscles that he used for boxing and gymnastics, and to even build a few homes our family lived in – of which he was especially proud of.
My dad taught me (even though I didn’t realize it at the time), that hard work is essential to not only succeeding in life, but for surviving it as well. He toiled in the mill and held a second job and was blue-collar to his very core. My mom was very ill when I was a child, and was constantly in the hospital undergoing surgery after surgery. I think that my dad felt helpless to make my mom healthier even though he was told she wouldn’t live long when they married. When she passed away at 33, he was left with raising a son and daughter while trying to earn a living. All in all, my dad was someone whom I feared, and respected – although the respect developed many years later when I was an adult.
He always told the truth and taught me that lying made things much worse regardless of the situation. He was a man of principle and if he said he was going to do something, you always knew it would get done. To him if you didn’t have honesty and integrity, you were a waste of breath. Life is always a gift, even if it does not seem like it is while you are in the moment. Sometimes you realize that in many ways the apple does not fall from the tree.
My dad was the toughest SOB that I have ever met, and throughout my childhood, I knew that I wanted a different type of family dynamic than the one I grew up in. Having my son, Myles, work with me in real estate is such an incredible honour (especially as his dad), and we have an open and honest communication that allows us to treat each other with respect and support the other’s decisions. I could not have imagined working with my dad – let alone in real estate although oddly enough my Dad wrote and passed his real estate course in 1973 only to receive the results a few weeks after he died. It is amusing today thinking of how a potential seller might view the situation if my Dad was to walk up to their house upside down on his hands in a suit!
I dare not even think of how my dad would handle a frustrated buyer involved in a home purchase. I know that there are better ways to dealing with negotiations than by using one’s’ fists (in real estate, it is called a “counter offer”). A large role of being a Realtor® is that you are someone working as an intermediary who doesn’t transfer the frustration and hostility that sometimes arises between the buyer and seller but smooths things over in a calm way to bring both sides to an amicable meeting of the minds.
For all of you who have had a difficult road in life, or are struggling today, you can commend yourself for your toughness and determination. As Winston Churchill once said “continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential”. I truly believe that my dad taught me how to build the foundations of my life and business, that there are no shortcuts to doing either well. From hardship, I learned that honesty, integrity and determination are core values. I am a more loving and accepting father to my own son, and I know that I will never take my family for granted.
I really think that “Muscles McCullough” was the toughest SOB I have ever met in my life, but I would not have changed it for the world. Although the early part of my life was a very angry period, it was reflecting back later in my life and realizing how much everyone respected my dad because of his values. Even though he died with very little material wealth, he made me understand the importance of integrity to truly have success in your life. Thanks Dad. I wish you a happy Father’s Day and I love you simply and completely…forever. If I could sit with one person today and just talk, it would be you.
Myles will be enjoying a very busy Father’s Day weekend with Pryce who I love dearly and Sunday we will all be making the annual pilgrimage to the Qualicum Fathers Day Car Show with Josh and his son Derek and then back for a BBQ at our home. I look forward to this every year. My son Marshall, who is Myles’ older brother, and wife Darla who live out of town will be having their own Father’s Day at home with their daughter and grandkids.
Happy Fathers Day to my boys and Happy Fathers Day to ALL the fathers, stepdads, father-in-laws, and strong male role models out there. Hold your children, friends, and family close as they are the essence of life. All in all, it’s been a wonderful year.
From our family to yours, have an AWESOME weekend!