Father’s Day was this past weekend. For the fatherless, there were difficult moments of wishing, sadness, and loss. The anniversary of my father’s death falls very close to Father’s day so there is compounded grief. I usually avoid Facebook for the week, waiting for all the pictures of fathers to get buried in the feed. Father’s Day is bittersweet.
This year marks ten years since my father passed away. While the waves of grief that used to consume me unexpectedly are no longer a regular occurrence, the gifts that my dad passed down to me endure. I don’t have recent photos of my dad and I to share, but I do have these memories.
5 Gifts from my Father
The gift of his smile and conversation
My dad lit up the room with his smile. At 5’4” he was small in stature but big in presence. He could have a conversation with anyone he met.
The gift of his presence
I have so many memories of swimming, camping, eating meals together, going to family get togethers, watching sports and movies together.
The gift of hard work
My parents frequently worked two jobs, especially as small business owners. They frequently did this so they could provide health insurance for the family. One of my parents would work for a company that provided health insurance and they continued to maintain the deli that they owned. They worked to provide us what we needed.
The gift of entrepreneurship
My father tried many different side hustles: pyramid schemes, selling encyclopedias, and selling real estate. He wasn’t afraid to learn new things and take risks, in fact, I think he thrived on it. None of the side hustles were particularly profitable, but seeing him learn and extend himself to try new things inspires me today.
The gift of movement
My father was an avid tennis player, walker, and then golf lover. He would frequently bring my sisters and I to the tennis courts and we would play. Being active was a natural part of our family life.
The regret that my children will not know him is something that will never go away. However, the gifts that my father has given me are ever-present, influencing our family life daily. Those are the things that I want to pass down to my children, acknowledging the heritage of the gifts.
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