While I am back home after a week away working at a camp with children in foster care that were placed there because of abuse I am going to write about my week long experience at camp tomorrow. I will admit I didn’t miss being away from technology. It was kind of nice not having a bunch of emails to respond to or hearing all the depressing news our journalists report on. I do have to play catch up now after being gone a week.
I want to focus this post on my Dad since today is after all father’s day and as many of you know from reading my second book Living For Today, my father has been the best man in my life and only man I completely trust. He is also the hardest working person I know who has worked hard to provide for his family. My dad started his own carpet cleaning business 25 years ago. Now a very successful business he has customers that he has been doing their carpets for 25 years. He has run his business all on his own besides my mother being his secretary the first 15 years answering the phones before she began working. He works very hard I have seen it first hand as a kid growing up I always went to “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” The fun part about going with my Dad was it wasn’t always to the same office or work place like most kids would come back and report on. My Dad is in and out of people’s homes, buildings, restaurants, retirement centers, etc. Where he would clean the carpets, area rugs, and furniture. So every day is something different. As a kid whenever I went with him I always ended up talking to the home owners. There was this one place we always went once a month to clean at night. It was a retirement center and my sister and I were in charge of moving all the chairs in the dining hall so he could clean. Well we always got side tracked talking to men and women in their 80’s and 90’s. He would always joke that we go to socialize with the senior citizens then help him.
Most of his customers are return customers or referred customers. Many of his customers have such trust in my father they leave him the key to their house or garage door code and let him go in and clean when no one is home. My father has had his fair share of stories that he has shared with us over the years. He has found a missing wedding ring that he found cleaning the carpets in a house, he has moved furniture in bedrooms and come across couple’s toys, he has even had to help a senior citizen who had fallen in her own bathroom and could not get up. He has cleaned up the carpets after a suicide, he has gone into houses where the carpets are so bad because cats and dogs have destroyed them for years that he has told the owners you just need to rip these carpets up. He has even cleaned celebrities carpets. He use to clean the Great Walter Payton’s carpets before he passed away.
Every day is a new day for him and every year he cleans long hallways in the same community where people have apartments. There are three floors where he has to go up and down these long hallways. I have done it before with him and it is not easy. He needs help with them every year and this year I told him it would be my father’s day gift to him because I knew a days work with his toughest job of the year would mean a lot more then anything else. Two weeks ago I went with him to do the long hallways and I realized after 25 years of doing this he has no photos of what he does so I brought my camera along. I am glad I did because the carpets were awful in these hallways and I have before and after photos to show just what amazing work he does when it comes to cleaning the carpets.
Now I know he is the best carpet cleaner out there that is why his business is called “Best Carpet Cleaning” now I just need to work on getting him to be more open with him emotions. He has not had it easy with what has happened to his daughters and how we were treated in the aftermath by many people he loves and over the years he shares but I also know he hides a lot and carries a lot of pain in his heart. I have felt the need to protect him throughout my teens and adult life because of what has happened in the aftermath of the family dysfunction after learning his kids were abused. My father has lived every parents worst nightmare and I wouldn’t want to put anyone in his shoes however as he reminded me one night a few years ago when for once I saw so many emotions coming out of him. He expressed to me that the one thing he kept telling himself was it could be worse that he could be hearing that he was going to lose me forever. That will never leave me and I saw in that night a much deeper side to my dad that I have rarely ever seen. I am use to the Dad that is goofy or teaching me life lessons on savings, what not to do or what to do, and men. He is not one of very few words in fact I often spend hours talking to him and am very close with him and am grateful for that.
Now time to share Dad’s daily life of cleaning carpets and then pictures of us.
Black stains all gone!
My job was pulling the hoses back as he went and cleaning them untangled. He told he I was the best he has ever brought to do this. I don’t know if that is a good thing since I think that means he will want me to always do these buildings with him.
Dad doing what he does best!
He really knows how to get the stains out!
Doing what he does best!
All done! Well at least the 3rd floor then it was on to the 2nd and 1st floor. It was a workout but as my Dad said I saved him several hours more if he did it alone pulling those hoses back.
Dad and I July 1996 at my Aunt’s wedding. I was 11 here.
Dad being goofy on his birthday 2 years ag0 July 2009.
Dad and I walking a trail in Oregon June 2010.
Dad and his snuggie. I told you he is a goofy guy! Love his sense of humor.
Dad with his framed “Preferred Best” sign last summer. He was getting life insurance and after he went
through the medical tests and got everything else back he was ranked as what they call “preferred best” and only 5% of the population rank in this when getting life insurance. Pretty much says he is a very healthy person and boy did he not let us forget that. All we kept hearing last summer was “I am preferred best.” My dad rarely drinks, doesn’t smoke, and he was a man that growing up always made us eat healthy. Which is why we got excited when mom did the shopping because she would get the sugar filled fun cereal like fruit loops or lucky charms. Dad raised us on wheat bread, oat meal/unsweetened cereal, no pop, etc. On top of that his job is so physical he gets a workout doing it. So it didn’t surprise me that he was preferred best for life insurance and in my book he is preferred best father and since we know he is in the top 5% of the population he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon! 🙂
He just walked in the door as we are about to go out to dinner and just asked what I am doing! 😉
Happy Father’s Day!