The Wisdom of My Father

I Treasure Dad’s Advice on Life

Dad marching in parade

He was a man of few words with an inspiring personal code.

By Ann Mehl

About five years ago, my father passed away. I still think about him almost every day, but especially this time of the year when his anniversary rolls around. He was well known and liked in the community where he lived with my mother in New Jersey. Fiercely proud of both his German and Irish ancestry, he always walked in the Annual West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade wearing a green tie and a German hunting hat.

With my sister and brothers, I will sometimes reminisce about the small idiosyncrasies that made him our dad. The bulging pants pockets, filled with keys. The wallet held together with 3 elastic bands (this despite the drawer full of new ones we had given him over the years as gifts). The baseball hat perched atop his head (never on his head), reflective of his time in the military. His distrust of anything resembling a main road (his old trucks weren’t bred for the highways).

He was, like many of his generation, a man of few words. But when he did speak, it was usually to impart some wisdom or practical piece of advice. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to appreciate many of his great aphorisms, which remain lodged in my mind like an old song.

Read the first bit of wisdom from my father.

Ann Mehl is a New York-based certified life and career coach. She can be reached at

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