I see my mother everywhere. Though I never looked like her, I can now see a physical resemblance and so many of my qualities remind me of her. Not so for my dad. Everyone said I looked like him but I no longer can see the resemblance. I never had the good fortune to get to know him and he wasn’t part of my life long enough for me to emulate him in any way.

My father died when I was eleven. While his death was devastating, my mother dedicated herself to raising four independent children in a family-focused environment. She was an optimist, always telling us, “Something good comes out of everything.” Under her tutelage, I’ve spent my life looking for that silver lining.

So what lessons did I learn from my dad?

1. Life is short so I cram as much living as I can into each and every day.

2. Make good health a priority; if you don’t have your health, nothing else matters.

3. Live life with no regrets; if you want something, whether it’s a relationship, a job, an education, or a trip, go for it now.

4. Let everyone you love know how much you love them every single day. Don’t ever assume that people know how you feel.

5. There’s no time like the present; don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

6. Each day is a new day and a fresh start; live it with zest and seek new people and new experiences.

7. Celebrate and find your pleasure in the everyday moments in life, whether it’s that first cup of coffee, a walk with a friend, or the wonderful smells of dinner cooking.

This Father’s Day, I won’t be sad; I’ll remember all the lessons I learned from my dad. What did you learn from yours?

Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle StoreClick here to order.

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Comment by Angela Vurnetta Carroll on June 14, 2011 at 6:36am

Loving my Dad , A wonderful father he is. F is for father believing he could raise me himself. A is for always showing me the right direction. T is for time   had just for me. H is for honor   ,I will  with pride . E is for everlasting love thats unconditional .R is for remembered    the times he was there for me when I needed him.                                               In loving memory of Pearline [RIP]                                       for leaving me with a loving father  [James Ford].  AC

Comment by Kay on June 12, 2011 at 7:21pm

Something I would like to share: Every once in a wiel i jot down a memory of one of my familly members because I am terrified of forgetting them. The other night I was writing about how me my twin brother and my dad ust to have monopoly marathons, and about how fun it ust to be. Both my father and my twin are no longer living. The next morning I was babysiting a group of kids and they randomly decieded to play monopoly, I decided that ment in some way my familly is still hear.

Comment by Linda on June 15, 2010 at 9:24pm
This is my first Father's Day after my Dad's passing. He was typical of the "Greatest Generation," a B-17 combat veteran of World War II, devoted to duty. For almost a decade he went above and beyond the call of duty in caring for Mom through her failing abilities due to her dementia. He still said "goodnight, sweetheart" to her up to the end, both her end, and eventually his own. They were devoted to each other through their 58 years together. He lived five more years after her passing, strong and productive until he suffered a stroke. It was my privilege to be part of the teamwork effort to help him make an inspiring comeback, even with left side paralysis. Many younger people who had survived stroke took heart when they saw his determination and progress in recovery. I feel happy to have had him so long. What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've known? Last year at Memorial Day he received a tribute of appreciation for his military service at church. He replied, the pleasure was all mine.

May his legacy continue to touch the lives of some who were not as fortunate as I was to have the patient and loving good example of a father that I have had.
Comment by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 7, 2010 at 5:34pm
My deepest condolences on the loss of your dad, Deborah. We go through many stages with grief. It's a process and it takes time to work through it. You are in the midst of many challenges. I wish you continued strength as you work through them.
Comment by deborah brownlie on May 7, 2010 at 5:00pm
Hi, I just lost my dear father. He was buried this week, its so hard to believe that he is gone. I do get a funny feeling that he is still with us, gone but not out of sight. I am going through the process of mourning, grieving, as painful and sorrowful as this time is. Plus I got laid off, I am out of work, involved in a job search, and will have to move again as well. This is not a happy time. My present landlady is in foreclosure too.
We knew my father was going to go, thank god I had quality time with me for several months, went to see many, many times before he died last week. His services and burial was this week. I have already written in my journal memories of my Dad. Also we put lovely things, including our forever letters to Dad, in his memory box in his casket. I need time to mourn, grief and take it all in, get through this. On the other hand I am stronger than I realized, I have more strength than I thought I had, I am wondering if God, my higher power has something to do with this, I have accepted my father's death, this is part of life, sometimes I just feel so calm and accepting of this, why am I coping so well. His my Dad with me, watching over me, maybe he is bringing me comfort. Or am I in shock, or denial. Sometimes its feels like a dream, I will see him again, he will be back. DB

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