Dad – I Didn’t Know

There was a time that I didn’t understand the words you never spoke, the hugs that were seldom felt and the encouragement that was given in soft-spoken short sentences. You always told me that it was up to me to make myself happy and that I needed to find my own path in life.

You never threw a baseball with me or took me to the fishing hole. Yet you passed on the words of wisdom that fathers give to their sons to prepare them for the world they must face alone, and yes I came to resent you for that. You talked about believing in dreams and using my imagination. I didn’t know that your words held a much greater value than throwing a ball and that when the time came for me to make my way in life your words would echo in my mind. I can always hear your soft-spoken voice guiding my steps.

I know now that you were all the man you ever needed to be.  I know that your silence was filled with your own fears. I know now that those soft-spoken words that I needed to hear were spoken to you as well. I know now that there never was a baseball or a fishing hole in your life.

I know now that you worked the fields when you were a kid and never went past the third grade in school. When you were older you took a winter job in the city so our table was never bare. I know that you loved Mom, a love that lasted your whole life. She told me how much you loved me and how hard it was for you to find the right words.

There was a time I didn’t understand but now I can only hope to be half the man that you were. Now I know that you were all the man you needed to be.

Point Of View: It seems that we always expected more from our parents than they gave us and it always seemed to come to us later in life that they gave all they had to give. My dad’s words turned out to be the roadmap that I used on my life journey. We must be careful in life not to give our children what we feel we didn’t get and remember the things they did give us that live on within us every day. Dad, I am sorry. I didn’t know then that you gave me all you had to give.

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
I have 40 years of Retail Management experience. I am the person they send in to fix things. Call it a Store Focus Specialist, a Smoke Jumper, an Outlaw. I can work within the system or go outside the box when needed. I love walking into chaos and bringing order. I am not a key word person and my education came from mentors not schools. I believe that everything that we do starts with hiring the right people. Driving sales, merchandising, customer service and metrics are just keywords until you hire the right people. My top talents are Recruiting, hiring, training, associate development, and going into a focus store and turning it around. Most importantly I believe in people and that if you teach them, develop them and believe in them they will do far more than they thought possible.
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I wish I could be able to say the same about my parents. I realise now, that my lack of parenting, lack of love, lack of education from them, made me strive to be better. They parented me in the only way they knew how. It wasn’t their fault, and I forgive them, but it leaves a huge hole in your life, and makes it hard to learn how to raise your own children in a better way, when you were programmed that their way of parenting was the only way. It’s taken years of my own poor parenting, failing my first children, to find better ways of developing relationships. You can’t undo the past, but hopefully, we learn from it, and evolve.

Jonathan Solomon

Thank you Larry Tyler for sharing your wonderful tribute to your dad.

Awesome thoughts in retrospect. Most often it is only when we start looking at life in retrospect, that we realize the beauty and preciousness of what WAS. I fully relate to your sentiments, and feelings of joy, sadness and yet appreciation for my own father fills my heart.

If my Dad was alive he would have been 101 years old. He was the person who made me what I am today. During the peak of my successes in many countries, he simply pointed out the fact that with all the work, money earned, fame achieved and all that…I would not use even 70% of any worldly things I had gained. He planted the thought that if I share that 70%, I would find greater joy, happiness and multifold blessings in my personal life. In reality even after I am gone, there would be still be a lot of money not spent. Hence, the burning question.. why not share everything..and that is exactly what I did. Yes, my dad was the single most important factor that started my journey into the humanitarian field across the world and I do not regret a single moment.

Yes, Dad, your thoughtfulness and gentle push has brought immense satisfaction and joy to the many people whom I have been privileged to touch in however a small way.

Maria Lehtman
Maria Lehtman

Thanks, Larry, for sharing such personal memories and learnings! It is wonderful to see how maturity changes the perception of others. It takes a greater benevolence to reach that maturity in some cases.


This is so poignant after loosing my dad last week, these words went straight to my heart

Traci Starkweather
Traci Starkweather

Great article! I think almost everyone could relate to this story at some level. We talk about how in life we can only do what the “tools in our toolbox” allow us to do.

If we don’t have good listening skills– chances are our children will not feel heard or will not be great listeners either. I’m so glad you realize these fine points now. Thank you for being vulnerable– to share this with us.

Traci Starkweather

Paula Goodman

What a profound apology…it’s so true we “expect” from our they have taught us what is “expected” of us..we learned from an early age what they expect of us….but they never told us what we were to “expect” from them
In all my years I “justified” in my own head..what made all that they did acceptable… yes I see where they have had battles too…but as a parent myself…I have applied what I don’t want to be from the parents of me..I try not to expect…this lesson was hard..but I do anticipate…I may never receive what I need from them, but I’m truly grateful for all that they did give…I thank you for this article…it resonates with me truly. It’s a hard lesson, but when you accept and forgive both self and them…it’s just liberating and helpful be your own best friend.
Sorry for blabbing… Your words have made me think
Thank you and have a wonderful weekend my friend!?



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