Father’s day and lessons from my dad

Father’s Day sneaks up. This year I have no dad to call and wish a Happy Father’s day. June was always my dad’s month. Both to celebrate his birthday and the official dad day. It feels so odd not to be part of the world celebration of dad’s.   Where my dad is, there is no festival of fathers. This past mother’s day I shared 6 lessons from my mom while she still lives, and as I mourn my dad’s passing I celebrate the life my dad lived full out.

My DadTaking one’s family for granted is easy until the unthinkable death notice arrives.  Blithely we live, hopefully more in the present, as my dad would remind us, than the past or future, enjoying the precious moments that spill into our cup.


My dad shared many examples of how to live by the way he lived. He loved life, food, travel, sports, people. He used to say he never did things by halves. He played squash twice a day when I was little.  I remember listening to the whipping sound as the skipping rope whirled over his head as he skipped.  I would watch him walk on his hands around the pool, and join him swimming laps or walk with him miles on a Sunday.  He did pushups daily even into his eighties and visited the gym to row up until a few months before his death, despite his messed up knees, crutches and numerous ailments.

My dad taught me generosity of spirit, the most giving of men, he would help anyone and everyone. Many times giving beyond betrayal and disappointment.  He followed the principles of abundance and it worked well..  As long as someone had a need he was there to help them.  He was loved for his acceptance of other people’s needs and follies.Mom Dad and Me

My dad had the wisdom, soul and ability of an extraordinary healer. He cured hundreds of people with hypnotherapy for free, many who had tried everything, He invented a diet tea called “slim tea” years before such things were in vogue. I can still see the pink box he designed.  He was a herbalist, Dr of homeopathy, massage therapist and so much more.  He never stopped learning and growing.  He taught me to keep an active brain and body.

Dad and us

My dad understood what it meant to put your heart into your efforts. The youngest of five, born to poor immigrant parents, he had a hard life growing up. He would walk the two or so miles to school and back to save the tram fare. At school he excelled in sports and academics making captain of many teams, as well as head boy and was a leader and inspiration to many..  His dream was to own a bicycle.  I try to imagine how a bicycle can spur a boy to push himself beyond his limits.  To take that dream, work three jobs, 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.  And buy that bicycle.  And graduate from a bicycle to a car.  Fall in love and sell that beloved car to let your fiance (my mother) choose a diamond engagement ring that she loved. I can picture his enthusiasm and willingness to put his heart into the adventure.  To go for the gold in life.

My dad had a wonderful sense of humor. The best part of an enthusiastic life is being able to laugh from the belly and share the funny side and my dad kept his humor till the day he died.

What characteristics bring your dad to mind?  How do you celebrate your father and what moments stand out in your life?

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Father’s day and lessons from my dad — 16 Comments

  1. Great pictures and a beautiful tribute to your Dad. He sounds like a real mensch and I can see where you get your sense of humor and artistic touch from! The moment that stands out in my life more than anything in relation to my Dad is when I had my very first anxiety attack and I called him, not my Mom. He talked me through it, offered to come and pick me up from the side of the highway where I had pulled over, thinking for sure I was dying. I also remember me crying while he tutored me in accounting. I just didn’t understand it and he remained patient throughout my entire year in 11th grade. We laugh about it now.

    • Dear Laurie, thank you. and thanks for sharing about your dad. He sounds like a mensch himself. So glad you had your dad to lean on in a time of need and that you have memories you can fondly laugh over. Funny how we both leaned on our dads

  2. Wonderful tribute. You have me doing some reflecting … my dad just turned 70 and he is a leprechaun that simply doesn’t age so it is hard to believe… Anyway, clearly you have so much gratitude in your heart and it shines through.

    • Dear Stephanie thank you so much. It is good to reflect on your dad while you still have him around. A leprechaun sounds delightful and staying young is a wonderful talent and demands an abundant joyfulness.

  3. Jen,
    My dad’s birthday was in June- last Friday, one of my nieces was born on his birthday so that is nice. Fathers day in Australia is in September. Thanks for sharing your dad with me

  4. Suzie, that is lovely that one of your nieces now has your dad’s birthday. Oh I didnt know that Father’s day in Australia is September. Good to know

  5. Such a beautiful testimonial, Jen. The phrase “generosity of spirit” stood out to me, with all the descriptions and stories you provided giving credence to these words. The picture say it all–his kindness and vitality leap out at us. The gifts of your strong father are many, and continue to be reflected in his beautiful, strong daughter.

    • Dear Judy, I could have sworn I answered this. Your words touched my heart. He was vital and kind it is true. And thank you for your tribute to me. I hope I can carry my dad’s legacy to fulfilment.

  6. Jen your dad seemed like a remarkable man and way ahead of the times. Father’s Day must have been so difficult for you. I loved your story and your photos. I could see how much he loved you. He sounds like he was a true gentleman.

    • Dear Nancy yes my dad was an amazing man. Father’s day was hard as is everyday I am reminded that my dad no longer is on earth. But I am grateful. Thank you for your kindness

  7. What a beautiful memoir of your dad, it truly touched my heart. The pictures spoke volumes as well. He sounds like such a wonderful, special man. Thank you for sharing this with us, and remember how his beauty lives on in you. XO

    • Dear Jenny, thank you for your kindness. My dad was special to me and to all who he touched. I am thankful for your reminder that his beauty lives on in me xo

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