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Lessons from Dad

August 15, 2022

This post is a bit different from the ones before it—partly because it is more personal, and partly because today I am forever changed. Just a few weeks ago, I unexpectedly lost my dad.

He was Paul Averill, a father, husband, grandpa, uncle, and son. He was also a loved friend to others, an honorable Navy veteran, a builder with an exceptional work ethic, and the provider and protector of his family. Though his words were sometimes sparse, his actions were big—and throughout my life, I learned more from him than I ever realized.

I always felt my dad was a bit legendary; that he was quietly generous and ready to help anyone at a moment’s notice, and that he provided for us kids no matter the circumstances. But, after learning even more about him from co-workers, friends, and family these past many days, I am in awe of all the different lives he lived. 

There are many things my dad taught me, and I see those lessons now in brighter colors. He taught me that family comes first—and family is not only your blood relatives, but your community. He found family in his band mates and work friends; his fellow bar regulars and neighbors. He didn’t talk a lot about his faith, but he often showed me how deep and high and wide God’s grace is; that He covers you at all timeseven when you don’t expect it.

These are all lessons that throughout the years, whether consciously or not, I have implemented in my own life. They make me proud to be his daughter. They allow me to appreciate how much he loved being a giver, and how I want to do the same.

And so while I know it would be impossible, to sum up all I’ve learned from my dad, I wanted to share the gratitude I have for his life. For his impact on me and all whom he met. As I discover more about my dad’s history, there will be new lessons to add … new connections to marvel at; new understandings to hold close to my heart. Even today a friend reached out, saying she was at an open house and the man selling the house has so many stories he could share about my Dad. I can’t wait to track that man down and learn more.

If you have been through a profound loss, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean when I say it’s difficult, yet healing, to share what I’ve learned. Words can’t quite capture the feelings, but they are the next best thing.

And so I dedicate this post to my dad and to the knowledge and wisdom and love he passed along to me. I intend to keep paying it forward, to continue making him proud. I know he is watching still, just from a higher view. <3

Love you, Dad.

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