The voice was authoritative whether coming from the pulpit, ordering sixteen hamburgers once a year from McDonald’s or making a point with me or one of my eight siblings. Any time my dad was in the room, his presence was unmistakeable. Having grown up in a strict first-generation home of German heritage during the depression, my father raised his brood of nine children with a similar discipline few kids would recognize today.
Papa’ would be the first to tell you he isn’t perfect and there are things he’d do differently today. Over-all I believe we kids have an appreciation and respect for the man we call dad, even if it took us till adulthood to realize it.
At his tallest he was probably no more than 5’9″, but it’s only been in the past several years I’ve realized my dad is merely an average size man. I never envisioned him as big per say, but in many ways he has had this larger than life persona for me.
Papa’ is very disciplined, so when he sets his mind to something, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you can be assured he follows through. I expect a lot of myself, not because I have something to live up to, but maybe because of the “you just do what you need to do” way he has always approached life. As a man of faith, my dad is one who truly walks the talk. I cannot give one instance where I’m aware he’s been even remotely dishonest. This may be why I value integrity as such an important characteristic. The golden rule is a way of life for him, no matter who he encounters. Probably one of the reasons I believe everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect is in part due to him. I may not physically resemble my dad, but even as I write it occurs to me how many traits I’ve inherited from him.