When I was growing up I loved going to the office with my dad. My father was an attorney and he had his own law office. I was allowed to sit at his desk and look in his desk drawer finding all sorts of delights such as special pens, inks, scissors, clips and anything else my dad had thrown into the desk drawer. It really was a treasure trove to me even as a very young child. Sometimes he would have a .30 cent or so dividend check he had just thrown in the drawer. He would make a big deal about signing it over to me. I thought I was so important. Even the smell of his office is something I can remember to this day.
My dad passed away right before I got into law school, so he never knew that I was following in his footsteps, although he did know I wanted to. Today, as owner of Carroll Law, P.A., my office is referred to as Carroll Law Office, the same name he had named his law office. It is very special to carry his legacy.
There are things one must do to protect your legacy; legally, spiritually, emotionally and financially. When my dad died unexpectedly, he had a law office that was solely owned by him. He had several associates and a large staff, but he solely owned the law office. On the day he died and the week following that I saw many people just going into the office taking files and items from the office. There was no one there to look after my dad’s interest. I learned much from my father’s life and his legacy lives on even if his actual office is no longer in existence.
I learned that sometimes it is the little touches that matter the most. I know my father was the provider for our home and I know he worked hard to make that happen, but as his daughter I remember more about him letting me climb in his chair and go through the desk drawer. It makes me remember how he looked, how he laughed and how much he loved me.
What kind of legacy are you passing on to your children and those around you? I suggest it is important to take the minutes you are waiting in line at the grocery store or stuck in traffic and make something special of that time with those you are with. Maybe sing a song while in your car, or while in line play a little game of “I see.” It is the little things in life that tend to matter.
As we celebrate Father’s day, give thought to protecting your legacy. Dads are meant to have an impact that allows the generations that follow to be lifted higher. I give thanks today for my father and for all the men who take the time to love their children. Your lives make a difference – make the moments count.
Susan V. Carroll, Esquire