Honoring Dads

Happy Fathers Day ladies!

I really love Fathers Day. It’s a great reminder to appreciate and honor the Dads in our lives, whether that be your own Dad, your husband, brother, or friend. In “Be a Better Dad Today!,” my friend Gregory Slayton describes fatherhood as “the most important job a man will ever have.” When I consider the impact my own Dad has had on me, I know Greg is right.

Growing up, and even now as an adult, I learned so much from my Dad. My Dad operated a large farm and orchard in Harrisburg, Oregon. As part of the farm he ran a retail stand where customers could shop for fresh produce. My first job was there at the stand, where Dad taught me about serving customers, and really about serving people. It wasn’t just waiting on them as they made their purchases; it was about getting to know them and caring about each of them as people. I remember watching Dad talk with people, and it was almost as if the rest of the world melted away. If he had something else on his mind or something “more important” to do, he never ever let on.

Working for my Dad all those years was not exactly cushy. He was an incredibly hard worker, and he expected nothing less from those around him. But he was no bully. Teaching his kids (and nieces and nephews, and most of the neighbor’s kids too) to work hard was always for our benefit, not his. He believed firmly in the value of hard work and the pride of accomplishment that it brings. The thing about farm work is that the jobs are never glamorous, but they all have to be done well. It’s been a great lesson for me in life and especially in the business world, where a lot of people save their best efforts for the flashy, attention-getting projects, and let the rest slide.

As a farmer, you have to have a special kind of faith, and Dad did. There’s just so much about farming that you can’t control, no matter how hard you work or how well you plan. Dad knew that sometimes crops fail, but God never would. So even in the worst of times, Dad practically shined with hope and kindness and generosity.

My Dad, Roger Detering, passed away early last week. I’m sad that I didn’t get to celebrate Fathers day with him yesterday, but I know that he’s in a better place now. And in a way, I did get to celebrate Dad this week. I’ve heard so many stories about how Dad impacted the lives of those around him, it’s impossible not to take joy and inspiration from such touching tributes. I know that’s exactly how Dad would have wanted it.