Sunday, June 19, 2011

Memories In The Mirror

Today is Father's Day. I've got two things I want to write about.

As a dad, myself, I'm thrilled that I get to do two things today: go out to lunch with my sons and their wives and go to my favorite frozen yogurt places for dessert. I enjoy spending time with "the boys" and "the girls". In 2011, I've been blessed with the privilege of spending time with my adult children quite a few times.

 Now I know most of them have been to celebrate special days with birthdays being the most common occasion. But it's those times when the kids come to see us at our house for no reason at all that are my favorites. They come by to say "hi" or watch a movie with us. Those are special times.

Perhaps the most touching thing that's happened during our times together this year is that nearly every time we hang out together someone always comments, "We need to do this more"; they mean it and everyone else agrees with them. Adult children who want spend time with their parents? Now that's the most demonstrative act of honor that I can think of.

I'll enjoy being with my family today but on a more personal level Father's Day brings me to a place of remembrance of someone neither my wife or my children ever knew: My Dad.

So if I'm remembering my dad today why is there a picture of me at the top of this post? Well the picture was taken while on a river boat during our recent Chattanooga vacation. It's one several pictures taken of me over the last couple of years that illustrates how much more I look like my dad now. Mornings as I'm in front of the mirror shaving I find the reflection of my dad looking back at me. It's still me but I see my dad.

Obviously the third Sunday in June is not the only day of the year I remember my dad. Whenever I do things that I know he would have enjoyed I think about how great it would be to have him with me. Prime examples of this would be: watching the Wishes fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom and the Muppet Vision 3D show at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, going to a ventriloquist show, or walking around a railroad yard or a model train display. All of those things make me wish he was there. 

On our recent trip to Chattanooga there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't find myself pausing during an activity to imagine how much dad would have enjoyed being there.

I think a lot about who he was and what his life was like when he was my age. I find myself realizing that not only do I share a lot of his interests; I share a lot of his character traits as well. As it is said in scene of the movie "The Lion King" a father lives on in the son.

Each day I see that statement come true. Whether its a song he liked, or a silly poem he used to say to me, comes that into my mind, my dad is still a part of my life. I treasure those reminders. There's some comfort in knowing that to feel him with me I just have to think of something he taught or introduced me to. To see him all I have to do is look in the mirror because he lives in me.

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