What does it take to make a great relationship? I’m sure the answer to that question varies from person to person, and depends on the type of relationship, but when it comes to the relationship between a father and his son, the best way to measure the greatness of that relationship…is with time spent together. Of course, laughter and fun are very important parts of that, but life isn’t always about fun and laughter. Much of life is about work, and about helping each other. It was in that aspect of life that my husband, Bob and his dad, Walt Schulenberg found themselves spending many hours over the years. My father-in-law could easily be categorized as a workaholic, and he trained his son to be the same. These men would go to work and spent 8 to 10 hours on the clock, doing physical labor. Then they would come home and spend another 2 to 4 hours working on some project at home. To them, it didn’t seem like work, but rather an enjoyable pastime. I don’t think most of us would feel exactly the same way about the work done around the home, and many people don’t about their jobs either, but that is the mentality of a workaholic. Work is fun…somehow.
If you wanted to find either one of these men, the best place to look was in the garage. Even if they weren’t working on a car, they were back and forth from what they were working on to the garage, because that was where all the tools were. And I’m here to tell you that between Bob, his dad, his brother, and his nephew…those guys had projects!! There were times that they came in from the garage and fell asleep in the chair from sheer exhaustion…and it was all their choice!! No one was making them do all these things. Sure, as mechanics, they helped out their friends, and those jobs come when they do, because you can’t plan a breakdown, but these guys had to squeeze those jobs in between all their own stuff and the planed jobs they do for people. It’s almost like they didn’t have time for a holiday. In fact, the only way to get Bob not to spend part of his day working on some project was to take him out of town.
Be that as it may, with all the projects Bob and his dad, and later his brother and nephew did together, their relationship was a very strong one. I suppose it really is a situation of the family that works together, stays together. I know that isn’t how the saying goes, but it really is the truth. Families working together toward a common goal, sharing the same hopes and dreams, and if their hopes and dreams are different that the others, they respect the right of each individual to have their own hopes and dreams. And they will do whatever it takes to help them achieve their goals. I think that is one of the things that always kept Bob and his dad close. Bob and I did not have to chose to live the same kind of life as his parents. They just wanted us to do was to be happy. I have to say that while Bob is different from his dad in many ways, he is also much the same…at least in all the areas that matter…such as responsibility, dedication, devotion, and the depth of his love, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than that.