Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Measure of a man

Posted July 16

Let's face it: We are products of our parents, the good and the bad. We learn how to parent based on the way we were parented.

And, so, while we may strive in our careers and measure our success in large part through our professional achievements, the only thing that truly matters is the legacy we leave behind for future generations.

We recently celebrated my father's retirement after 50 years as an attorney. He had an amazing career as a district attorney, then as a highly respected litigator and also as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice.

But perhaps his biggest achievement is something his colleagues and the legal community are not privy to, it's the impression he made on me as a little girl that allowed me to become the woman I am today.

As a child, I knew my dad worked very hard because he was rarely home. He would rush home from the office for a quick dinner, and then rush out to a meeting. His first office was in the concrete basement of a law firm with a tiny window and a single sad fern in a macrame plant holder above his desk. He was so proud. I spent many Saturdays at the office with him Xeroxing my hands on his copy machine while he worked.

When we were out in the community, everyone knew my dad. He was never too busy to stop and acknowledge someone, to shake hands, to chat.

As I got older, I was keenly aware that my dad was always connected to his office by phone and email. He was always available to consult with clients or colleagues. He did it because he loved it and because he cared deeply about doing a good job.

He led by example with integrity. He made it very clear that nothing in life was gained without hard work. He also made it clear that you need to love your work if you are going to dedicate your life to it.

I couldn't be prouder of my dad for all he's accomplished professionally, but more importantly, I couldn't be prouder of the man he is and has always been. His children and grandchildren are now inheriting this amazing legacy. It will be up to us to continue it.

In short, the measure of a man is not about awards, titles or acclaim, but about the legacy he creates for his family.

I feel like I can do anything because I am Bill Lamb's daughter. Thanks for the gift, Dad.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books, including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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  • Mariah Maloy Jul 17, 5:22 a.m.
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    I wasn't out & about with my Daddy as much as you were growing up, & I think I missed out on a lot. I do know that when he passed, at his visitation, seemed like half the town came out in the pouring rain that evening; at the funeral the next day, seemed like the other half of the town came out, still pouring rain. Good thing there wasn't any fires that day because, having been a retired firefighter, all of the fire dept came out for the funeral, both on & off shift. He was that much loved & respected. The words of comfort that flowed from many of these people reflected that love & respect.

    Sounds like you have that in spades, as well. Treasure it now, while you can.