My dad has Parkinson’s Disease.
My dad’s legs don’t work so well and he is supposed to use a walker, he doesn’t and at times it feels as though the roles have reversed. I get why though.
As a contractor my dad was a power horse. His own boss specializing in home remodel and repair work. Part of my inner drive to never let anything knock me down for longer than about a second comes from him. If you go around Chico and ask people my dad did work for or people who have known him, they will tell you he was one of if not thee best at what he did in town.
They will also tell you he is one of the finer human beings you could hope to meet. For along time I wondered if they knew who they were talking about. Here’s why.
I saw him at the end of the day when the tank was empty. He worked 6 days a week often. Starting to see where my work ethic comes from?
I never got to see what they were talking about until I was around 13 or 14 and I started working with him on the weekends and during the summer. My last buzz on strategizing your day as you go came from lessons of watching my dad and working with him.
The results of any job always begins in your prep work. I must have heard it a thousand times. To give you an idea of how physically strong he was at one point in time.
We working on a Church here in town and my dad handed me the hopper to spray some mud. The hopper was a big bucket attached to air hose and trigger nozzle. It looked like a ray gun with a bucket of thick heavy ass mud attached to the top and an air hose coming out the back.
I took it and sprayed for a few minutes with one hand and then had to switch. After about ten minutes and my dad seeing I was not going to get it done he took it back and then I watched. He held that thing like it was nothing and ran it for as long as he needed to.
That day I realized that if he ever hit someone full force, he had the power to kill in one punch. My dad is only 5’6″.
He taught me a lot over the those years before I went into the Air Force at 17.
One of the lessons he and mom taught me was to take care of whoever ends up crossing your path simply because you can.
My dad was a wrestler in high school and studied a little martial arts. He was his own mechanic for many years. There was very little he couldn’t fix on his own.
My dad is also one of the more brilliant minds I have ever met. He pissed people off a lot because he could pick most things with little instruction and run with them as if he was seasoned pro. Something else I inherited.
In fact with no college degree he was the top tool salesman for Hilti tools back in the early 80’s as a traveling salesman.It pissed off every single college grad he worked with, including his boss.
My dad is also a Medium and a Telepath and my mom is an Empath. That’s how I got the 3 in one at birth.
In my dads lineage is a Cherokee medicine woman who walked the Trail of Tears. Back when he was a child the court house where the records of that were kept, burned down and because of racism my grandmother kept the Cherokee lineage a secret for my dad’s sake as a child.
My dad’s dad has never been sick a day in his life, not even a cold.
Even though he is supposed to, my dad won’t stay down. He refuses to use his walker until he falls down again which is at least a few times a week. At times it takes me and my mom to get him back up. He has a fake hip and his legs are going faster and faster as time goes on.
He is still in good spirits most days as long as he can clean the kitchen and make dinner and sneak out on his own to run errands and feel productive. Without that he would have died already, just that kind of man.
It’s not easy to watch Mr. Invincible fall a part right before your eyes.
I can see how much closer he is to needing to be in a wheelchair and that will totally kill his spirit and he and I have talked about it. He was the one who told me it would probably mean his end if he couldn’t feel like he could get out on his own anymore.
There is a lot I will always carry with me that are things my dad used to say.
Work smarter not harder.
If not now, when.
I’ll call you Dr Whatshisnuts when you call me Contractor Carter.
He has no respect for title. He sees us all as equal and none of is entitled to special treatment no matter what degree you have or how many years you spent to get it. That was your choice and gains you no privilege over the rest.
Never let anyone get anything over on you.
Never take any shit.
Never start it, but finish it and there is no such thing as fair fight.
Reach out the hand of help as often as you see the opportunity.
You ever hit a woman I might kill you.
Do it better than I did.
Do it smarter than I did.
No matter what you are doing you bust your ass to be the best at it and fuck ’em if they can’t keep up.
Never stay down.
He taught me a lot that I still use today. He taught me a lot I still pass on to others today.
It’s going to be real weird for real long time when he goes. I will miss him however I will always be grateful I spent these last few years taking care of him as much as he will let me. We have a better relationship now than we ever did.
A lot of the issues I help people though often start with family. My dad and I lost a lot of years that some of you can still have with a father or a mother. Don’t wait until the last few years.
As dad always says, if not now, when.