The Guiding Hand on Your Shoulder

My Dad was Quiet. Funny. Loving. Protective. Dutch. (That last one? Significant because he made the Best. Cocoa. Ever.). When I was a kid and would ask my Dad for something that even I knew was a ridiculous request, he would look at me over his glasses
and say, “I may be stupid, but I’m not crazy.”

Hans Deys never said too much but when he did, you could bet the farm it would be insightful, amusing, and loving. My father threw praise around like confetti but kept his criticism close to his chest. I heard him drop the F-bomb once in my life; the situation was worthy of it. He was a hugger, a helper, an engineer of bridges, thoughts, and ideas, and loved by everyone who met him.

My parents met when they were in their teens. They fell in love during WWII with bombs decimating their town, relatives lost in concentration camps, undercooked and unpeeled vegetables, Gestapo at the door. My Grandfather was a bit of a big deal in the Dutch resistance and our family helped Jewish families escape – hiding them behind false walls in the attic of their Arnhem home. Many hours were spent at our dinner table hearing the stories over and again. My Dad loved to  tell them – never flinching when we said “we want to hear the one about the radio hidden in the stove again.”

No parent is perfect; no child sublime. We do what we can with what we know (and we know, as parents, that we don’t know everything … just don’t tell the kids!) I send out Mad Props to parents everywhere whether you are a Father, a Mother, or a combination of both and hope that, every day, you share your knowledge, history, and wonder with your children. I miss my Dad every day but his guiding hand is always on my shoulder.

“There are three stages of a man’s life:  He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.”

My Dad taught me sincerity, kindness, and compassion; from him I learned that a smile, a kind word, and a helping hand held out would take me places. His guidance has served me well.

Please share your stories with me: WWDD (What Would Dad Do) 🙂
Happy Fathers’ Day!

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5 Responses to The Guiding Hand on Your Shoulder

  1. I have a 5-year-old son who’s full of energy and imagination. He always busy himself running around in circles and jumping up and down while shouting “I’m Ben10 and I’m going to transform into Four Arms now!” with a voice that perfectly mimics the Alien character’s. But I’m proud of him since he wasn’t like that when he was like three years old. Right now he’s with his mom, back in the Philippines, and I’m right here in Las Vegas with my dad in my uncle’s house. I’m presently looking for a job so I can start earning and saving for my baby. It’s tough since I’m practically starting from scratch. You see, I just came back from the Philippines about a week ago. Last time I was here was in October of 2007. I was full of emotion back then, always thinking about my son and wife. The thought of not being there with my kid physically was a powerful stimulus that kept me emotionally disturbed most of the time back then, and it seems that this eventually made me to decide to make the trip back to the Philippines, to see them again. Now, thinking back, I think I made the right decision.

    • tobeydeys says:

      Thanks for sharing your story! How hard it is to make that kind of decision with so many critical responsibilities. I agree that being with your son, and with your family, is so important. Enjoy the joy he will bring you and Happy Fathers’ Day to you!

  2. mistybelardo says:

    I love this Tobey!!! Father’s day is the time of the year that is quiet difficult for me, because it is the time that I miss my dad the most. But I know he is proud of all his kids and I know he is watching over us everyday.

    • tobeydeys says:

      I know; I feel the same. I got teary when I wrote this and especially when I was looking through photos to use. My dad was struck by Parkinson’s about five years before he died; it was tough to watch him go through the debilitation of that disease. But, as much as he was able to, he kept a bright spirit and a smile. He was a gift to everyone who know him; a lovely, gentle soul. He taught me much about kindness, patience, and empathy.
      I still ask him “what do you think?” and, like you, trust he’s watching over me, still.
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Misty 🙂

  3. Heidi Cohen says:

    Tobey–What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I agree every dad has a story that he leaves his children and it gives them insights into what shaped his life. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

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