Maybe his ship is coming in

My dad is a computer hardware and software engineer, inventor, and programmer, largely dealing with artificial intelligence.  It’s a good line of work to be in, right now, in the third millenium.  However, being such in, say, the 1970s, when pretty much no one — not even major companies — had computers, and you had a wife and four children to provide for, it was pretty tough sledding, financially.  Most all of my childhood years were marked by poverty.

My dad is brilliant.  He really is.  Largely self-taught, he has a bachelor’s degree in a field where he’s surrounded by those with doctorates multiple times over.  Yet, he’s smarter than most all of ’em.

However, smarts doesn’t necessarily lead to phenomenal success, neither personally, nor financially.  In fact, sometimes, it can be a detriment to both, in my observation.

A number of years ago, though, some investors decided that perhaps my dad was onto something, and they’ve funded a company that my dad runs.  Well, he sort of runs.  That’s a good thing, actually.  He runs the brains part of it, and others are running the business side of it.  Though, in conversations with my dad, I know that it has irked him that others were making financial decisions for “his” company, knowing that others were in charge of securing contracts and directing the finances made me more hopeful than ever that the company could truly be a success, since historically, those areas have not been strong points of my dad’s.

So far, there has been nothing produced by the company that has been marketable;  it’s pretty much just been research and development and a great, great deal of hope and expectation on everyone’s part.

It’s been sort of painful to observe, actually.  My dad is the epitome of “hope and expectation” — he always has been.  I’m nearly 35 now, and have pretty much never seen all my dad’s promise pan out to be something as phenomenal as he had led himself and everyone else to believe that it would be.  My childhood contained a lot of raised and dashed expectations.  To me, the sadness of that continuing pattern is compounded because I want him to succeed.  He’s my dad.  I want him, for his own personal triumph’s sake, to produce something that’s worthy of what he’s capable of.

Perhaps that time is quickly approaching, finally.

He’s in a contract with the federal government to provide something.  The deadline is in mid-July.  If it’s successful, it will be worth multiple millions of dollars.  Now, a great portion of that money will go to pay investors who have hedged their own $$, banking on my dad’s success, and all the employees who have been paid through investor funds.  Everyone has a particular percentage interest in the company.  But, a good portion of the dough will end up in my dad’s pocket.  It would be the first time, ever, that he’s had major financial and professional success.

This morning, in the newspaper, was a fairly frightening report of the exact thing that my dad is working to stop.  It was pretty wild to read it.  As I read the short newspaper article to my boys, their eyes widened.  “That’s just what Grandpa Thomas is working on!!”  Pretty cool.  Pretty tense.

If you think of it, and if you’re the praying type, please join me in prayer that things will finally come together for my dad.  


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on June 12, 2008, in Extended Family Drama/News, Family, Memories, Sad Things, Science. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. How exciting! I can’t wait to hear more about it and to hear how it turns out!! 🙂

  2. My own dad has found success in his 60’s. True happiness, found in a bunch of heavy machinery and a business of his own. Lots of dissapointment over the years and now, at last, fulfillment. Not that work or that stuff is everything, he is also a believer. I will be praying for your dad….

  3. Karen,
    Your dad stopped by at the end of May for a day or two. I just got back from a trip and we were leaving the next day for vacation, so we didn’t get to spend much time with him, but we did have lunch and he laid out what was happening. Pretty cool stuff!

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