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 Store. Click here to order.
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