When most people think of an inheritance from the parents, they usually think in terms of money, property, or businesses. Sometimes, however, our parents leave us with things that are far more valuable than any of these.
When my Father, Mr. Tiny Dumcum, passed away in October of 2000, he didn’t leave a lot of finances behind. Unfortunately he had been bilked out of a lot of his money by someone he trusted. He did leave behind enough, however, for me to further my education. I used that money to obtain my Bachelors degree in Theology. While I am truly grateful for that, he actually left me something much more valuable. It took the Lord opening my eyes to see it, but when I did I realized my Dad left me something money could never buy.
You see, my Dad only had an eighth grade education. Because times were hard children often had to go out and work to help support the family. Many of them never returned to school to complete their education. My Dad worked for a farmer here and there and eventually became a blacksmith. From there he developed his own contracting company, Tiny Dumcum Construction. He actually built a lot of the buildings in our home town of Hugoton, Kansas. There was a day you could ask almost anyone in our town if they knew Tiny Dumcum and they would know who you were talking about.
He was one of the most creative men I have ever known. He could build anything he set his mind too. My Mom and I never knew what he was going to come up with next. Many times he made his own tools for work. He made numerous figurines out of spark plugs, nuts, bolts, and wire. He was quite artistic. If he could picture it, he could make it.
I recall a time when Dad wrote a letter to the editors of several major newspapers in our state addressing issues regarding health and safety on the job. I will never forget the impact that letter had! People posted copies of it in their businesses so everyone could read it. Dad received phone calls commending him for the views he expressed. In fact, our Congressman at the time, Keith Sebilious, contacted him and requested that Dad write him a similar letter. Dad was only too happy to oblige. A humble contractor from Hugoton, Kansas, had become a voice that people all across the state listened to.
So just what was the invaluable inheritance my Father left me? Dad showed me what it was to live life without limits. He could have sat around and bemoaned his lack of education, but he never did. He demonstrated what it means to thrive with what you have rather than curse your lack. He was a living example of never thinking too highly of yourself, yet never letting anyone else put you down. He was equally as comfortable around the elite as he was the common folk. He never let his circumstances dictate his quality of life. He truly was an amazing man. His example has made me rich indeed.
Thank you, Dad, for leaving me such a limitless legacy. I sure miss you.