My Dad’s Unwritten Letter to My Children

UPDATED: June 20, 2012
PUBLISHED: June 20, 2012

While celebrating with my two little ones on Sunday, I read a dozen or so wonderful Father’s Day tributes on the Internet. Many of you probably did the same. A couple were from famous men writing notes to their grandchildren. That afternoon I sat down and imagined what my father, who passed away in 1999, would have written to my son and daughter based on the life he lived. Here, I am absolutely sure, are four lessons he would have penned.

Love your spouse. Our living room, like many others from that time, was dominated by two overstuffed recliners and a couch. The recliners belonged to Mom and Dad. But in our house, the recliners didn’t sit on either side of the couch, offering room balance. Their seats were side by side. Better to hold hands.

Believe. An ordained minister, faith was central to my father’s life. His belief in God gave him a peace that often defied understanding. He argued that “faith is an understanding that some things can’t be understood.”

Dream big. My father was constantly looking for a great invention; he even attempted to patent a couple. He taught his children to be always looking for a better way to do things.

Ask questions… then LISTEN. He said it often. Too many people are so busy preparing their next statement that they never listen.

I can’t wait to share this list with my children—they’re 3 and 2 years old now.

Was there a lesson from your father that you’ve passed along? Join the conversation here.