Lessons Learned from My Dad…A Father’s Day Tribute

AUTHOR: | POSTED: June 17, 2011 | COMMENTS: 2 Comments
CATEGORIES: Daddy on The Fly,

Sean Savage

     I miss my dad.  He died eighteen years ago, but regardless of how much time has passed, I think of him every day.  Usually memories of him come rushing back to me through an image, or by remembering a morsel of wisdom he imparted.  Trust me when I tell you, he was a wise man—full of life, love and joy.  I’m sure most of us can conjure similar memories of our fathers.  If he were alive today, I think the perfect Father’s Day gift would be to give him a letter of thanks that expresses the ways in which he positively impacted my life.  Of course, that’s not possible because he’s no longer with me.  So in lieu of telling him, I’m going to share the most impactful lessons he taught me, with you!

 Stay Positive by Being Thankful

My dad had a positive aura about him that was infectious.  He believed a person’s state-of-mind sets one’s course in life.  He used to repeat regularly, “It’s impossible to be thankful and depressed at the same time”.  He laughed and smiled everyday and constantly reassured us kids that “the future has never been clearer or brighter.”

 Work Hard, Every Day

My dad was a work-horse.  He instilled his work ethic in us from our earliest days.  His constantly told us,  “Work half days…12 hours!”  My dad was out the door before I got up in the morning and there were many nights that I said goodnight to him as he poured through his work files preparing for the next day.

 Live within Your Means

There is no doubt that despite his financial success, he was a spend thrift.  He grew up with nine siblings and learned his frugality from his resourceful parents.  His financial lessons were simple but profound.  “Save half your income and you will never have a financial problem”.   We could count on that tidbit coming out of his mouth at least once a day. It was wise financial advice.  One can only imagine what our economy would be like if everyone lived this sentiment.   

 Give Back

John Fox Savage has a generous heart of gold.  “Give until it feels good,” was an expression he inverted from the famous quote, “Give until it hurts.”   He lived this motto through many of his charitable activities.  One of the more memorable for me always occurred at Christmas when he’d fill our van with frozen turkeys and drive through the inner city giving holiday dinner away to anyone in need!  Of course, this act was anonymous, as my job (along with my siblings) was to run to the front door, ring the door bell, drop the turkey and hightail it back to the van before we could be spotted.    He didn’t want credit for his kindness.  He taught us that true gifts are given without the expectation of acknowledgement. 

 Be Faith-Filled

My father was a Godly man who had an unshakeable faith.  Raised a Catholic, he never thought his religion superior to others and in speaking to crowds would say, “If you do not have a religion, get one.”   He believed that any faith that was practiced with love would benefit the believer.  Every night before bed my parents would gather all nine of us for prayer.  Sundays were for church. I am so lucky that my parents raised me to have such a deep faith.  I am better for it.

     I miss my father.  He died way too soon, at the youthful age of 62.  Although he has been gone for nearly two decades, his spirit lives on and his legacy is carried by his kids and grandkids.  Even though my three children never met their Grandpa John, they get to know him through stories written about him, and by listening to us reminisce about his antics—which albeit are often funny, are also mired in profound wisdom.  I’m lucky that he was my dad.  I can only hope that my children will someday say the same about me. 

 Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!  We are blessed to have you!

2 Comments on “ Lessons Learned from My Dad…A Father’s Day Tribute ”

  • nancy coyle | June 17th, 2011 4:46 pm

    Thanks, Sean. Since Hank died which is a year July 1, I admire your Mom more than ever before and I always had. Along the way I also took another picture of your Dad to place in my bedroom. One of your Dad and my Dad has hung for years so Hank and I could see it each morning as we arose. We knew they were strong men we both wanted to emulate.

    Together we had much to thank your Dad for and Hank and some of our kids told him that more than once. I was thankful for him always as my big brother who was there for me when I needed him. Hank and I together were thankful for his recommendation and support that allowed us to move to Indiana in our 40’s to run the business. The move was the best thing we ever did as a family. I needed space and we needed a better income.

    So now I look at the second picture in what unfortunately has become MY bedroom and ask him for some of his strength. I ask Uncle Hank for strength as well and our parents and Aunt Marg. I am a believer that they are all with us in some way I don’t understand. But before much longer, I will. Then I will thank them all and be especially thankful to be reunited with my beloved Hank.

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  • Sean Savage | July 5th, 2011 10:57 am

    Aunt nancy,
    Sorry for being so slow to respond. Thank you so much for sharing!


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