I write this anonymously only because of broken family ties. As with anything, some good can
always come from something not-so-good. I will spare you the details. What I would like to
share with you is that I know of a man who was the hardest working person I have ever met. When I say
this person was hard-working, I am saying that I never knew this person to remain idle in life.
He was always, from as far back as I can remember, working and making a decent living.
This individual was my dad. I can still remember him coming home every afternoon, looking
drained and exhausted. The minute he walked in the door, my brother and I would attack his
pockets and empty them of any loose change. Of course, we greeted him first, then we
attacked! My dad worked for a construction company, and he was a jack of all trades. If an
important project needed overseeing, the Foreman of the company always contacted my dad.
My dad was experienced in roofing, plumbing, tile setting, landscaping, painting, framing, air
conditioning repair, cement work, fence installing, and the list goes on and on.
When my dad was in his forties, he suffered an on-the-job injury, was awarded a less than
lucrative settlement, and was let go from his position at the construction company he
dedicated more than twenty years of his life to. You would think that after a shoulder injury,
like the one my dad suffered, any man would have called it a career and moved on from the
brutal work of construction. Not my dad, though. Before you knew it, dad was out working as a
handy man with people who knew of him and the quality of his work.
Before the internet and the mass communication devices we have today, my dad was getting
work off word-of-mouth referrals. When my dad finished a project, others who saw his work
would immediately contact him to schedule their own appointment. I cannot remember a time
when my dad was not working. It was simply his way of life. If he were not working, he would
not be happy. Honestly though, I never saw him unhappy.
My dad tackled even those projects that he had little experience with. Sometimes, he even
tackled projects he had no clue about! His clients did not know if he was experienced or not, in
any area, but they trusted him. They trusted him to deliver, and he always did.
I like to believe that I possess the fortitude my dad had while I was growing up. I do not sit
around and throw a pity party when it becomes difficult to make ends meet. There is always a
way. There is always work; somewhere. Like my dad, the quality of my work and my willingness
to work has given me a reputation that others have taken notice of. I hope that I appear just as
hard-working to my own son as my dad appeared to me. That is the legacy that was passed
down to me. That is the legacy I am responsible for.