Today is Father’s Day.
A day for remembering and appreciating our fathers, whether they are still with us or not. I consider myself extremely fortunate because I have had not one, not two, not even three, but four men who have been my “father”. The first is my dad, Roger Roscoe Moss. I remember making fun of his middle name growing up. We would have some great laughs about that. The early years with my dad were great. I adored him. He was an easy going man; I can’t even think of a time that I remember him angry. I’m sure he was, but he never exposed that to me. He taught me how to ride a bike and would let me join him in our garage when he was restoring his corvette. Unfortunately, due to some poor choices in his life, my parents divorced when I was in the sixth grade and we grew apart. Over the years he fought addiction, and died at an early age – 58. I think of him often and wish that things could have been different.
After the divorce, the only man in my life for a while was my grandfather. I also adored him. He taught me several lessons. When I got my first job, I can remember him telling me to “pay yourself first”, meaning to put some money away for long-term savings before you spend the rest of it. He was a saver. He also taught me responsibility. I had to borrow money to purchase my first car. It wasn’t one that I picked out, but I was happy to just have a car back then. I borrowed $1,200 from my grandfather. The deal he made me was to pay him something each month. He didn’t care how much, as long as I paid him something. Every time I made a payment, he would write me out a receipt which had what I paid and what I still owed, so I could see how my debt was decreasing. When I finally paid him off, he wrote PAID IN FULL on my receipt. It felt so good to have that debt erased. I still have that receipt. When I see it, it makes me smile. He also died young, age 67, from colon cancer. I miss him.
About the time I was becoming a teenager, my mom started dating a man who became my step-father on my 19th birthday. He has taught me so many different things in life. He taught me how to drive a stick and wouldn’t let me use the break to stop on a hill. I had to learn the “feel of the clutch”. That was hard, especially for a 16 year-old. But I made it through. He taught me how to change my own oil. When something mechanical would break around the house, he would have me watch him while he fixed it, so I could learn the basic skills of survival. He walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. We learned to play golf together. And he always brings me flowers on Valentine’s Day. He is a very special man. He is 82 years old, but you would never know it. I hope that I am that active when I am 82. I love him dearly.
On May 21, 1994 I added another father to my life. My father-in-law. I love my father-in-law. He is always there when I need him. He lives closer than my step-father, so when I get in a bind, he gets to be my first call. (lucky him). He and my mother-in-law welcomed me into the family business that they founded in 1988 which has taught me so much about business and running your own company. I am still a part of it to this day. My father-in-law is a wonderful grandfather to my children and to all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We get into some heavy discussions when we talk politics and sometimes business. He taught me the importance of working hard and I value and appreciate the sacrifices he has made for his family. He is also very funny, especially when he isn’t trying to be!
I have been blessed by these wonderful men in my life. Happy Father’s Day Roger, Clarence, Toy and Dale. I love you all.