My Dad is a man who taught me to never be afraid of life. He taught me I
can achieve anything I want if I'm willing to make the sacrifices to
have it. He taught me to stand on my own two feet, to accept
responsibility for my actions and decisions. He gave me my strength, my
ability to overcome the often overwhelming obsticles that have been
placed before me in my life. He taught me that despite the fact that I
hadn't been dealt a good physical hand in this life, it was a hand that
could still be played to my advantage, if I but had the courage to play
it for all it is worth.
He made me brave. He made me unafraid of being alone, either in my life,
or in my beliefs, or in my principles.
When my Dad was young, during WWII, he was in the Navy, a aircraft chief
mechanic. That's where he met my Mom... the prettiest, sexiest aircraft
mechanic on the base. He rode an Indian motorcycle. He crashed in planes
three times. He told us that he never expected to survive that war, he
truly believed he would die a very young man. When the war ended, he was
surprized to see a future stretching ahead of him which he had not
planned for. So he set out to make the most of his life he could. He
succeeded in no uncertain terms. He put himself through college to a
masters degree with a mortgage, a wife and four children. He built his
own successful business. He pulled our family together a few years ago
when my Mom died. And he and my mother raised four children who have
rushed into life, embracing the challenges presented to them.......
Last year, at 72 years old.... my Dad bought a Harley. He hadn't ridden
a motorcycle in a very long time. He took an extensive course in
motorcycle riding and safety. Then he spent several months with my
brother, who has ridden a Harley for many years, riding first in
parking lots, then on local streets, then on short trips. My brother
Jeff was an excellent coach. My Dad told me many times of Jeff's endless
patience during the learning curve. They planned a motorcycle vacation
for this spring. A trip to Arizona, the Grand Canyon, then up to Tahoe,
and home again to Palo Alto.
Last week I was at my Dad's office, doing the company accounting which I
have taken care of since my Mom passed away. My Dad was studying maps,
planning their trip, excited and anticipating. The last few years since
my Mom left us, he really seemed to begin doing the things he had always
put off, and he has been truly enjoying life.
Today my Dad was killed. He was hit by a semi truck while riding his
Harley in Bakerfield, California on the way to Arizona. They were on the
second day of their trip. Reports of the accident tend to show that my
Dad made a fatal error of judgement.
It's strange..... when I left my Dad's office last week, I was happy for
his excitement in this trip. For his sense of accomplishment. For his
unfailing courage in always following his dreams. But when I said
goodbye and walked out of the office, I was overwhelmed by the feeling
that would be the last time I would ever see him.
My Dad. Russell Davis. He lived his life an honorable man, and he lived
it admirably. He put his family and his responsibilities and his word
above all else. He lived by his values regardless of the inconveniences
to his desires. Everyone should have the fortune that I have had, in
having such a role model, such a hero, such a Father.
I am truly blessed to have the family I was given. I pray that I don't
ever forget that. Daddy.... I will miss you. But never will I forget all
you have given me.
Biography of Jan Davis