Time is fleeting and being given the time to purposefully and intentionally reflect is a gift. It’s a gift that Cisco, whether by way of the 40 hours employees receive each year to give back or the holidays given off to celebrate (like the 4th of July) or honor (like Memorial Day or Veterans Day), is no stranger to.
Normally, I might spend my day off choosing to catch up on a little work (guilty as charged!) but when I saw Veterans Day approaching on the calendar – I decided to really honor those who have given us so much by serving their country and protecting others. This year, I spent the day with my dad – Roger VanderVlucht (a.k.a. The Detroit Dutchman) who spent a few years of his life in Berlin, Germany fighting in service to his country and what he believed to be the betterment of the world back in 1970.
My dad, understandably, doesn’t talk all that much about his experience. Matter of fact, I know there was a level of sacrifice to his time spent – which made our day together that much more special. I took time to listen to the stories he shared, and was able to show my dad that I cared about these moments in his life as he busted out photos of him and his Army buddies – along with a classic portrait of him in his uniform.
While there is a lot from that time that he doesn’t talk about, he did tell me about a pool table he played on with some of his friends in the barracks during their down time. It’s funny how mention of one moment in time can make so many of my memories click into place. I grew up shooting pool with my dad, and always wondered how he got to be so sharp at the game – now, here was my answer! He always taught me that it’s not just about the shot you are currently taking – but how that shot will set you up for your next shot too.
It’s sound pool advice, and sound timeless wisdom for life, too. My dad still knows how to put that cue ball where it needs to go.
It isn’t often that I even get to spend this kind of time with my dad, and the day quickly turned into one I will not soon forget. We closed the night out with a nice seafood dinner – which was a big deal for this typical tough exterior “biker dude.” Well, he might appear tough on the outside, but in truth my dad is a kind man who wants to bring out the best in people.
I know this day spent with my dad brought the best out in me.
Cisco may have provided the time off and has always encouraged employees to make the most of our personal time, but I am glad I took the initiative to honor my dad on Veterans Day. There are so many that have served in a similar capacity, and many who even lost their lives in service – it makes me appreciate the time we had that much more.
I am grateful to be a Cisco Sales Specialist and to have been given permission to not only take the day off, but rather to intentionally use my time for some much-needed reflection and connecting with my dad that will be remembered for the rest of my life.
I can’t say this loudly enough – if you have been holding off on making intentional time with a loved one, there is no time like the present; and I encourage you to listen, learn, and grow. Time spent honoring your parents and those that have helped make it possible to be where you are today is always time well spent.
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