I make no secret of the fact that I’m very close with my parents. When other kids thought that was dumb… I always thought it was pretty cool. We held few secrets from one another and overall, we had a pretty stellar relationship.
A number of years back, my Dad started writing us kids (there are three of us) letters every weekend. Sometimes they would be about his week, sometimes about life observations… sometimes about things that got under his skin.
The whole intention of the letter writing was to make sure that we knew our Father as he would have liked to have known his. Thoughts, feelings, reflections, etc…
This Father’s Day, he wrote us another note. I thought it was important to share. I’m not a father yet… but, when I finally become one, there are more than a few lessons from my Dad that I will take with me.
Here is the note:
Fathers Day ~ June 21, 2009
Ever since 1908/9 people have been celebrating Fathers Day in some fashion. It wasn’t until 1972 that it became official as the 3rd Sunday in June. As a young child I do not recall if we celebrated it or not at home. As I got older… certainly… we would remember our fathers on that day. Much like Mothers Day, it is a public opportunity to recognize the role our fathers played, or not, in some cases, in our lives. In our busy lives, it is good to have pre-defined times to celebrate moments so that we do not miss the opportunities. It also provides some structure, social pressures from peers, siblings and of course revenue for retail marketers. The retail aspects are true of just about every recognized holiday as reasons are found to celebrate with a sale, remember with flowers and cards and maybe even buy a car.
It has been about 22 years since my father died. It is rare that a day goes by when he doesn’t cross my mind at least once. Many times, and certainly as I get older, I will be reminded by a gesture that I do and which somehow feels comfortable at the time. I pause and realize that my dad used to do the same thing. Maybe it is genetic or maybe it is a subliminal reminder of images from my youth when my dad and I were together. Whatever it is, I doubt that I will escape it or would even want to if I could. In some little way I miss him at those times.
I suspect that those of us that have lost a parent would like to have just “one more day” with them. I think that is because after
they are gone we think of many things that could have been said and maybe wasn’t or there are so many questions that could have been asked and weren’t. Possibly because as we experience life, these things continue to come up and while we may have gone to our parents for advice while they were alive, when they are gone, those questions go unanswered and we can be left without a mentor that cared for and about us. It is a feeling that can only be fully understood by experiencing it first-hand and therefore become a milestone along the road to adulthood. I can’t regret the questions I did not ask for that would be a waste of time and there is nothing I can do about it now. I can however encourage you to ask them of me while I still can answer them. The others that come later, well “it is what it is” and just part and parcel of growing up as you would then be where I was. Your turn.
I am thankful that I had a father like I did. He taught me respect for my mother and therefore all women. He taught me to be the best I could be and therefore be proud of my accomplishments. He taught me patience by example as he shared his skills with me. He taught me that the love of a father isn’t always shown with open affection, but with support of your dreams. I miss him… of course.
As a father, I thank you for being my children and all of your accomplishments. I am proud of each of you.
Perhaps something to think about… not just today, but as we go forward. Cherish the time that we have and ask the questions that you can. Good advice from someone that I consider to be a great man!
Thank you Dad!
P.S. This is one of his Hippie pictures that I stole from Facebook. He made the belt and the shirt… just cracks me up! 😉