Over the years his real job has come with many different titles. For 50 years he has been a son and brother, for 31 he has been a loving father, for 26 he has been a dedicated husband, for 5 he has been a grandfather, and for 18 years and counting he has been and will always be my mentor. Today I would like to honor my father John Zachary Smith, and explain to you how and why he has become my mentor. Standing at exactly 6 feet tall, sporting dark black hair and tan skin, being loud, extremely talkative and radiating with energy, are just a few characteristics that can be attributed to his Italian heritage. When introducing himself to someone new, he reaches out his rough and calloused hand giving them a firm handshake and replies “My name’s John Smith, really honest”. My father has the ability to make friends with anyone because he is truly a real joy to be around. He sparks conversations with people and it would seem that were best friends.
My father never lets an opportunity pass to teach his children. Being a father alone is difficult, but finding the time to impact each and every life of those seven children is a completely different rigorous task. Dad has taken this as a challenge and a life-long goal. My dad has taught me lots of things there is to know about many different subjects. Because of him I have learned to change tires on a car, because of him I have learned how to respect my siblings, because of him I have learned to cherish the moments in everyday life, because of him I have learned to have more confidence in myself. Moving away from home and being in college, I look back on my years at home with a little bit of sadness and tad bit of regret. I realize that I took my father for granted.
When I would complain about how much homework a teacher had given me, I never once heard him complain about staying late after work. When I would complain about not having the latest outfit, I never once heard him complain about the worn out jeans and shoes he always wore. When I would complain about being tired, I never once heard my father say how exhausted he was from working long hours. My father was the hardest worker I know. My father and mother together have raised seven children. While my mom stayed at home taking care of the young ones, my father would be working to provide for his young family. When the children reached schooling age, my parents were smart with the money my father diligently worked for. When sending their children to a local public school would be easy and cost much less.