Drawing inspiration from my father on his birthday...

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Good morning!!


December 11th, 2021.  5:37…


I woke this morning thinking about my dad…


For today is his birthday.  His 81st…


My dad is a good man.


He is honest.  Hard working.  Loyal…


Dad is far from perfect.  Certainly all of us are…


But his imperfection, especially in his younger years, is what makes my Dad’s story so inspirational to me…


Dad was raised on a farm, in a little town in Central Illinois named Ivesdale…


Dad was born in 1940.  A simpler time for sure.  But a hard time…


America was just getting out of the depression, and on the date of his birth, we were less than a year from entering World War II…


Dad had two parents, Joe and Norma Tracy.  To me, they were Grampa Joe and Gaga.  He also had two brothers, John and Bob…


Growing up on a farm in 1940, Dad and his brothers learned early that life was about hard work.  Life on a farm is often that way, I imagine…


School was important too, and good grades were certainly a must…


He and his brothers enjoyed playing sports, and being kids of course…


But at that time, and certainly in this family, Dad learned that kids were meant to be seen and not heard…


The days were long, and the joyous, silly times were probably few and far between…


Emotions were kept at a minimum.  Men were hard back then, and my guess is Grandpa Joe was probably pretty hard on his sons…


So that is how Dad was raised.  And in many ways, that is how he raised us…


Stern.  And certainly, if love was expressed, it was expressed in a very subtle fashion.  A subtle fashion that to this day I am yet to understand…


Somewhere along the line, however, my dad learned that things could be different.  That he could be different.  That he could be better…


He began to smile more.  Be silly on occasion.  Enjoy deeper, more personal conversations…


Enjoy time spent with his third son…


I am sure having grandkids had a big impact on my dad.  He also took great care of Mom, as she struggled with Alzheimers for the last 10 years of her life…


So he started changing.  Slowly, for change usually takes time…


But change he did.


He became more outwardly loving.  He still struggles expressing emotion, and for him to say “I love you” is quite rare…


But he shows it in his way.  Not always the way I hope for, but he is trying…


For he realizes that he is a work in progress, and does his best to be a better man every day.  


He chooses to smile more.  To listen better.  To understand others in a deeper way.  To show his love…


So today, as I drive out to Roscoe Illinois to celebrate Dad’s birthday, I will be thinking of my father…


And how he inspires me.  For I too am a work in progress…


I can be a better man, just like my dad.



Comments (13)

Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Happy Birthday to your Dad!  I hope that he will enjoy his special day.  It sounds like he is a good man for you to draw inspiration from!

Dec 11, 2021 04:41 AM
Ken Tracy

Thanks so much Brian!!


Dec 12, 2021 02:37 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I wish your dad a Happy Birthday and both of you a wonderful time together.

Dec 11, 2021 04:54 AM
Ken Tracy

Thanks Kat!!

Dec 12, 2021 02:37 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Love, love love this.  I so enjoy talking to my dad about the early days.  He is 92 years young.  Have a great weekend, thanks again for the post.  bill

Dec 11, 2021 04:56 AM
Ken Tracy

Thank you Bill!!  92 years young.  I love that...

Have a wonderful day!!


Dec 12, 2021 02:38 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Ken. Change is constant as the environment around us changes. My grandson demands it in his own unique way.  My son says I am complying! Enjoy your day.

Dec 11, 2021 04:56 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Enjoy your dad's company. You are blessed to have your dad around. My dad passed in 1973.


Dec 11, 2021 05:12 AM
Ken Tracy

Hi Sham!  Sorry to hear that...

I bet your dad is proud of you every day!!


Dec 12, 2021 02:38 AM
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs

Your dad had a happy Birthday. Have a great week and enjoy 2022. My dad was born in 1915 at Sept4...

Dec 11, 2021 06:02 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Ken and Happy Birthday to your dad!!!  Every night I pray that I will be a better person tomorrow than I was today. Good for your dad for continuing to try!

Dec 11, 2021 12:56 PM
Ken Tracy

Hi Kathy!!  That is a great prayer...

May instill it in my nightly routine!

Have a great day!


Dec 12, 2021 02:39 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

You are so fortunate to have this man as your father and role model.  All of us learn as we go through our lives about how to best express ourselves to others.  I hope you had a wonderful time with him.

Dec 11, 2021 05:58 PM
Ken Tracy

Hi Chris!!  Thanks!  I was hoping to convey that in this post, and think it came out well...

We had a great dinner!!  I am still full the next morning!


Dec 12, 2021 02:42 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Dec 11, 2021 06:07 PM
Ken Tracy

Hey Chris!!  Thanks!  It is an honor to be featured!


Dec 12, 2021 02:42 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Dec 11, 2021 06:20 PM
Ken Tracy

Hey there Kathy!!  Thanks so much!  An honor to be featured by your group!


Dec 12, 2021 02:42 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Ken - your thoughts about your father brought back memories of me with my father.  I hope that he had a happy birthday.

Dec 12, 2021 05:01 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Ken Tracy ,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. Excellent post..we are all a work in progress but isn't it wonderful your dad is trying! Hope he had a wonderful birthday celebration.

Dec 13, 2021 11:27 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a great post!  Sharing the way things were brings back lots of memories of the way things were back then.   They had to be tougher to endure the depression, WWII and so much more.  We have a different type of tough now it seems.  Coincidentally, my Dad's birthday was 12/5.  He lived to 64 and I would have loved to have him longer.  Good for you for making those visits count!  

Dec 13, 2021 09:56 PM