My father owned an insurance agency for thirty years. At its peak, he employed up to a dozen people. My father was a good man, respected in the community, chamber of commerce president, a WWII combat veteran and I looked up to him. I always felt safe and knew he was there for me. He worked long hours, spending most of his free time at home relaxing and generally disengaged. This was not uncommon in this particular era; I assumed other households had the same experience. Mom had one role; Dad had another. Only until later in life did we become close.
During the early 70’s, an employee of Dad’s was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was a dark period for his family, as he suffered greatly and struggled through recovery. I was barely a teenager, so I knew little about the specifics. Even though my father passed away almost twenty years ago, on his birthday, I still post his picture on my Facebook page. Among the miscellaneous “likes” that day was a comment from the son of the above-mentioned employee. It read,
“Your dad was extremely generous as well. Long before disability insurance, your dad had vision. When our dad had a brain tumor and a long arduous recovery, your dad kept paying our dad for an entire year to help our family out with a weekly paycheck. Mom was busy taking care of Dad, and without this generosity, I have no idea how our family would have survived. We will always be grateful for that... I learned this in my 30s. My mom always talked about how wonderful your dad was and how he gave us the money to keep going. And then Mom got a job teaching at the end of the year. I thought you should know.”
I can’t begin to describe how good it felt to hear these words from an old family friend. I had no idea my dad had done this. My dad was my hero growing up, and he continues to be my hero even today.
My Dad Quietly Helped His Employee’s Family
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