The title comes from Randy Taran who writes:
My father is requesting that all family members come by… no, not for a typical family reunion, but for Father’s Day. They say that people sometimes get a sense about things, and I have a feeling that my dad knows the end is near.
I am not complaining. I have had the amazing good fortune of having him around for longer than most. He is 95.5 and pretty darn present.
It has me thinking about the various roles we play in life: child, parent, parent to our inner child, parent becomes child, and child becomes parent’s parent… it’s endless in all the possible permutations.
I recently asked my dad for his five top life lessons, and this seems like a perfect time to share them:
1. Lead your own life. Know who you are and be true to yourself.
2. Be satisfied with what you have. Don’t go looking to other people for validation or compare yourself to others — that goes nowhere.
3. Be very grateful for what you have. Appreciate everything, from nature to relationships to waking up another day. Looking at things with the right perspective allows you to see that what you have is all you need, and more.
4. It’s all about family. That is what is important, that everyone is happy and lives a good life.
5. Love is what matters most. After all the ups and down that life sends our way, after all the careers and hopes and dreams, what stands out and will always remain is love.
This may or may not be his last Father’s Day; he has surprised us before. No matter what, I will always cherish my dad’s life lessons and pass them on to my own children as the cycle continues. Happy Father’s Day to all.
I curated this article for multiple reasons; not the least of which is that it makes me think about my father-in-law who is getting on in years. Throughout our marriage, my relationship with my in-laws has been strained for reasons too complicated to go into; only recently, however, I have gained a special appreciation for my father-in-law…
My ‘other Dad‘ is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for almost 50 years. The more I dig into my own ‘emotional sobriety’ and recovery from codependence, the more I appreciate him as a person and his contribution to the world — especially his example as he lives out the 12th step daily. Recently, when my wife was in Italy we connected a couple of times by phone and I had a chance to tell him for the first time that I loved him as a ‘dad’ — and I don’t say that lightly; dad is a title of honor in my life — and that I appreciate his example. There are things around ‘recovery’ that he gets that my first dad will never understand and I appreciate his testimony more with each passing day…
My second dad is now 79 and time is catching up with him. I cherish the help he has given me in my recovery and his lack of judgment toward me. Whether this is the last Father’s Day or the first of many we have in this ‘new’ relationship — God knows there are no guarantees in this life — I’m glad we had a chance to connect in his living years…