First, Happy Father’s Day!
I lost my dad in 2009. He was a great dad.
Growing up, many of my friends liked him because he joked around, remembered their names, and was friendly. I was sometimes embarrassed by my dad then and thought he talked too much. Now that I’m a father, I strive to be like him. I am sometimes a bit silly with my daughters’ friends and I like to play jokes on them. I try to smile a lot like my father did. I’m sure my daughters get embarrassed by me now and then, but that’s OK.
I had the opportunity to work with my dad in a family business. We also traveled together on business trips. Looking back, I really feel fortunate for having done this with him. I gained so much. Years later having worked in many other business environments with many other managers, I know that my dad was giving, gracious, helpful and good boss. In life and in business, my dad gave me some guidance but also gave independence so that I would learn on my own, even if it meant having failures or mistakes come my way. He made his own mistakes and took risk, and he shared many of those lessons with me.
I look back and shake my head at those times I was embarrassed by him, times that I was impatient or angry at him. I used to feel sorry for myself because everyone always asked about my dad and not about me. My ego got in the way. I often felt that his ‘shoes were hard to fill’ and I felt inadequate in his shadow.
Today I just miss having him around.
The other day I saw someone cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. The saw dust, sound and smell triggered a moment when my father and I were cutting down a tree one hot summer day, years ago. The saw dust was sticking to our sweaty arms and we were moving the logs and branches around. I think we polished the evening off with a cold, refreshing iced tea and a nice walk with our dog Greta down the road we lived on, which was lined by large Scotch Pine trees. There was a gentle whisper as the warm summer breeze blew through the pine branches. I was glad that I was in the moment then. I try to be in the moment now with my own daughters; you never know what or which memory will stick with you.
If your dad is still around, tell him how you really feel and share a good memory with him, then go create a new one with him.
If your dad is gone, give thanks and share a good memory with someone else, and then go create a new one with someone you care about.
Dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.
To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.
It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.