The end is in sight. In a week I’ll be done with finals, and with college. I’m ready to begin a new chapter in my life.
It’s the last day of my classes, but I’m thinking about my father, who died Sept. 6, 2008, while I was in my first year of college. He would have been 86 today.
Born Dec. 9, 1925, my father graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Iowa but never used it to its full potential. He left an unfinished manuscript of his life that I hope to finish someday. When I told him that I was thinking about going into journalism after I finished high school, both he and my mother told me that I should rethink it, that journalists do not make much money. (At this point, my dad was a security guard at Quaker Oats.) So I got married instead.
When my children were nearly grown, I thought that owning a restaurant was something I wanted to do, but my dad told me, “Go back to school, write.”
What caused his change of heart? Over the years, I never stopped writing. It began when I was 8 and never stopped. But I lacked the confidence to actually do anything with it. My dad gave me the encouragement I needed to go back to school and expose my writing talent.
Now look at me. Graduating and getting ready to publish a newspaper. Wow.
He would be so proud. Not only because I decided to pursue a journalism career but because I never gave up. The times that I was at the end of my rope, he reminded me that things would get better but that I needed to keep going. I’m glad I listened to him.
As a tribute to my father, I formed the company, Meis Communications, LLC. My father was never able to use his talents the way he wanted, so he did the next best thing; he passed it on to me. He must have known somehow I would succeed, even if he wasn’t able to. But in his eyes, I’m sure he felt that he had.
Happy Birthday, Dad. You’ll always be just a thought away.