Today is the 4 year anniversary of my father’s death. He died way too soon at 66. I have been reflecting off and on today about him and my time with him as a child and as a man.
My dad was a man of few words (other than when he was coaching high school basketball games). He was generous but did not talk about it much; he demonstrated it.
I had the privilege of speaking at his funeral. The title was “Lessons learned from Coach Wildes.” Here is an excerpt from my words. It is one of the many generosity lessons I learned from daddy.
It’s the summer after 7th grade. We are living in east GA in a town very similar to Ashburn. Daddy was out of teaching for a short while to try his hand at selling and fundraising. That should make you laugh – Coach Wildes as a salesman. The only thing Daddy could sell was how his player had been fouled and that the referee had made a horrible call.
Well, his stint as a salesman in the business world lasted 6 months. He realized very quickly that was not his cup of tea and he began to try to get back into education. Finances were pretty tight (I can’t remember when they weren’t, but apparently things were tighter than normal.) Daddy got a job at a convenience store out in the middle of nowhere working the shifts that no one else wanted to work. Can you imagine Coach Wildes (aka Mr. Personality) selling you a Coke and a bag of chips? Can you imagine what it sounded like when he spoke into the speaker while you were pumping gas? Priceless. He worked there all summer until the fall started and he began drawing that big teaching paycheck again.
Lesson learned; as a man do what it takes to provide for your family.
Daddy, you were generous in many ways. I miss you.