Remembering Dad

Four simple ideas to celebrate & remember Dad on Father’s Day.

This Sunday is my first Father’s Day without my dad.

Let me start by saying I loved my dad beyond measure and was protected and cheered on for 53 years as his daughter. I miss him every day.

I am sure because my heart hurts, the lead up to Father’s Day this year seems louder and more commercialized. I feel bombarded with social media ads and posts, mass media marketing, and in-store merchandising that markets the power of dad. It sets off so many emotions. Ya, ya, ya I know dads are great, and thanks for the reminder that mine is not here anymore.

What I know for sure, (thanks Oprah) is Pops, my dad, would not want me to be sad (well he might want me sad just a little, just so he knew he was missed). And that got me thinking, what would make him and my grandpa’s smile in heaven?

What would make him smile? Doing what made him most happy, our family being together. Together and doing something fun to reflect the joy he created within us. So I have no idea if this is going to work, but I am going to do these four things to honor my dad’s memory, celebrate the family he created, in hopes of healing my heart a little and bringing some joy to this Sunday.

I invite you to try them too.

1) Do Something Dad Loved:

My sister (in-law) and I are organizing a fun day with my brother’s family and my mom doing things, dad loved doing. Need some ideas? How about go fishing, a BBQ, a long walk, or a family pickleball tourney. It’s raining? No problem, how about play cards or board games, watch his favorite movie, or binge a family favorite tv show, oh hey Little House on the Prairie. Simple is fun and you will be reminded of dad, and that is good.

2) Share Vintage Photos:

Pull out the boxes of old photos (not those used at the funeral) and find a picture of each person with dad getting together on Father’s Day. These pictures will evoke many emotions, but will also lead to “remember whens” which will bring tears and laughter and I hope to create new memories.

3) Tell Stories: 

Think of a funny story, to relive moments of joy you had with your dad. Think about a story or two ahead – who can remember when put on the spot? Think about stories that highlight what made your dad so great, funny, or silly. I am going to need to whittle my own down since there are so many. Also, think of some questions to ask others in case they can’t come up with a story. Thought starters, remember that funny time when… tell us about it. Tell us about a time dad really supported you, or tell us the story of how dad broke his leg, or his first job or the day I was born. Stories bring people back to life, even if just for a moment.

4) Enjoy Dad’s Favorite Things:

Eat or drink things your dad loved. Ours is ribs on the grill, margaritas, and I am making my “famous” deviled eggs. Pops loved ’em and so did my grandpas. This can be anything he loved. The smells and the taste are such powerful reminders of love. And don’t forget to include Pops in grace or in a toast, whatever feels right to your family.

Father’s Day evokes powerful feelings when your dad has died. So, believe me, I am not saying these four simple ideas erase the empty feeling you have about your dad. But I hope, that remembering, celebrating, and by trying to bring joy to the New Normal, new moments can be made that are strengthen by the memories of dad. And maybe, little by little the sadness will weaken its hold on my heart.

If you are reading this because you lost your dad, I am so sorry my friend. I hope you are able to feel joy in his memory. My dad died on November 24th, 205 days ago. I miss him every day. Physically, my dad will not be with us this Sunday, but his spirit will, and I hope that helps me through.

You are your dad’s legacy, as I am mine. There is peace in that friends.

Be Your Own JoyMaster. xo Lisa

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