A new chapter (Happy Birthday Dad)–Week 27

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.

Mount Mercy University 2010, before they took the road out

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.

My dad, Tom Meis, and my nephew, 1995

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.

Hiawatha Advocate