For some, Father’s Day is a time to show one’s appreciation to their paternal figure in life. For me, it isn’t that simple. I lost my father at a vital point in my life. At the age of 16, I was left fatherless to figure out the world.
As far as I can remember I had a feeling of resentment toward him because of his dedication to his job. Our bond became stronger when I became of age to work with him.
Shortly after I turned 15, we would work on various projects in our home shop or we would go to different sites. Because of our strong wills we were constantly at each other’s necks about small issues.
During his childhood, my father dropped out of school in the third grade to help financially support his family. My great-uncle, showed him the craft of carpentry. Despite his limited education, he became successful as a foreman. When he and my mother came to the mainland from the Virgin Islands, he was hired immediately at a prominent construction company. His understanding of geometry and mathematics was impressive. His incredible memory and understanding of carpentry allowed him to build stable, durable structures, sometimes single-handedly.
After my father’s passing I realized how much I had actually learned from him. He taught me how to survive and that a man MUST provide for his family, no matter what. I also learned how to run a business and manage employees from him. His style of leadership is one that I duplicate every day in life because he was straight-forward and honest.
He did not waste time with formalities when they were not necessary. His lessons in carpentry helped me gain an advantage in math and geometry throughout school. I am forever thankful for his presence in my life and will always miss our country driving lessons and just riding around talking about life with him.
His passing taught me to appreciate life and the people God has blessed you to have in it.
Jose Saez is a junior mass communication major from Natchitoches.