Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.

Dad behind the window“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.” Wade Boggs

When it comes to gratitude, my dad is the epitome of true thankfulness. With all of the physical challenges he has experienced – stroke, aphasia (difficulty speaking), a fractured hip, and a bad cold – he never lets anything get him down. Even with his speech difficulty, he is the master of some of life’s most important phrases – “hello, how are you,” “thank you,” and “I love you.”

We moved my dad into assisted living after his hip fracture made it unsafe for him to be on his own. The staff LOVES him. Why? Because whether a nurse is giving him meds, an aide is walking him to meals, a person is cleaning his room, or someone is helping him change, he greets everyone he meets with a big smile, a “Hello, how are you,” and a “thank you.” It works.

Working in the long-term care industry can be a thankless job – long hours, low pay, caring for difficult patients, dealing with the families of those patients, etc. I’m thankful that my dad makes all of the caregivers’ days a little brighter. The people who care for him are angels, and I am so grateful that they are making my dad happy and keeping him safe.

You have no idea what the person you are interacting with went through five minutes before you came along. A smile, a “hello, how are you,” and a “thank you” – all done sincerely – will go a long way!

PS – If this note reminded you of someone you need to reconnect with – do that today. You have the opportunity to make someone’s day a little brighter.

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