Dad's Top Ten

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

Dad didn't preach lessons. He and mom lived them. Here are my Top Ten:

10. Be Positive It will all work out. Move on.  That was then; this is now.  Celebrate the positives, don't dwell on the negatives.  My parents are amazingly simple, positive people.  What a great trait that is.  There's something that's happening, what's the positive out of it?  Well, I got stuck in a traffic jam.  My parents' response?  At least I wasn't in the accident.

9. Have Great Vacations Creating great memories with our spouses, with our family, with our friends.  Truly getting away.  It didn't have to be fancy.  As a matter of fact, the vacations I remember most were the simplest, without all the bells and whistles, which leads to number eight…

8. Enjoy Nature Many of those great vacations involved and were in nature.  To be able to watch a sunset over a mountain or a lake, to take a second to breathe that in, to be fulfilled, to be with others in that moment. 

7. Use Sports There's laughter, there's team work, there's friendly competition all around sports.  Watching the Tigers come back and win at the end of the game – even on TV, it was memorable family moments.

6. Be Grateful Be grateful for your fortunes, for each other, for life.  Gratitude is one of those amazing things.

5. Keep it Simple Don't rush. Don't create drama. Don’t worry about what others think.  Don’t worry about “keeping up with the Jones's.”  Mom and dad just did simple things that worked for them.

4.  Have A Happy Hour Make time to check in, to slow down, and to take a deep breath.  Often our happy hours were at lakes, on beaches, around the pool, in front of a fireplace, on the screen porch. Didn’t matter where; just that it happened.

3. Maintain Lifelong Friendships Create great relationships - people that will be there for 50 years.  Have “lifers” - people that will literally do anything for you, and that you would do for them.

2. Have a Sense of Humor Laugh at the moment, laugh at life, and laugh at ourselves.  It's funny, how can we not laugh?  Don't take things too seriously.  Also be aware that humor is not used at the other's expense, but gentle teasing helps us to not take life too seriously.

1.  Family First – Always Dad lovedmom and us.   It was always family first.  He showed up and was there for our family.  He was available, present and it was unconditional.  He was a servant leader with us – doing things for something greater than himself.  We were never a burden.  He loves Mom and us..always and  forever. 

Tribute

SHENEFELT WILLIAM C., 86, of Northville, retired from Ford Motor Co. in 1988, died July 25, 2013. Loving husband of Jan for 59 years. Father of Sue Manciu (Jack), Chris (Patty), and Bob (Sheryl). Grandfather of Michael, Alison, Brian, Steven, Grace and Nick. Memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August , 3rd at Westminster Church, 17567 Hubbell St., Detroit, 48235. Memorial tributes suggested to Westminster Church or St John Hospice, 37650 Garfield, Clinton Twp., MI 48036.

From The Author:  There were times in my journey where I was frustrated that my father didn't sit me down and verbally tell me what life was about and what is spirit - something greater than ourselves.  My dad was a man of relatively few words - wise and funny words.  In the last couple of years, as I started to be grateful for my father and my parents and looking at the amazing things that I've learned from them, these top ten things literally have been my spiritual foundation, the core and character of who I am.  What more could I ever have asked from two amazing parents.  I look to my father to lead by example, to walk the talk, to help me to be a person, a man, husband and father.  Thank you Dad; you matter most to me. Peace, Bob

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