This father’s day seems especially difficult. I lost my father a little over a year-and-a-half ago and while we didn’t see eye-to-eye all the time I loved him and miss him dearly. But what is more difficult this year is that we just learned that a father of one of my son’s teammates suddenly passed away in his early 40’s. He left behind a teenage son heading off to college and a daughter. I honestly can’t image losing a parent so young in life and my heart goes out to these two kids.
So, I have been thinking about Father’s Day even more and what it means for me. If your father is still alive cherish him and learn more about his legacy. If he is no longer with you, you can still learn about his life and pass on his legacy to your children or others.
I always thought growing up that I knew my dad pretty well. He was very open about his childhood and our family heritage. Luckily, I developed an interest early from both my parents in our family heritage. Unfortunately, my father passed away before I asked all that I wanted to know, because I always thought there would be more time. Most people fail to ask their parents about what life was like for them, until it’s too late.
The ideas below are intended to create interest in your family legacy and help preserve memories.
Question a Set of Photographs
Get out an old family album. If you see a particular photo that speaks to you ask about it. Even if your father is no longer with you physically, maybe there are other family members or friends you could ask questions of. Take notes or even have a recorder handy to record the conversation. This could be incorporated into a Legacy album or video later on.
A Simple Photo Gift
Is there a photo of your father that you or your father is especially drawn to? How about giving him and/or yourself a nice framed print of it so that you can enjoy seeing it every day?
Tip: If the photo needs to be scanned, please don’t take it somewhere that will use a document scanner, make sure that it detects photos. And, carefully clean the dust off (using a lint-free cloth; I personally use other tools).
Another tip is to use a quality printer. I personally am not a fan of the 1-hour photo studios though.
Here are a few interesting legacy questions you could ask your Dad on Fathers Day. I never would have thought of some of these myself. If you are a Dad, these questions are ideal to begin telling legacy stories.
- What was your neighborhood like growing up?
- What was your favorite subject in school and why?
- As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- What was your real first job?
- Who were your heroes as a teenager?
The answers to these questions will start a fascinating legacy talk for all involved. Whether visiting in person or by phone, all you need to do is ask.
Start Compiling for a Legacy Album or Video
Take baby steps. You can simply start by gathering photos of your dad growing up. Was he in the service? Does he have any photos from work, or a favorite hobby? What other adventures was your dad involved in? Ask questions. There are many resources available on what questions you could ask. This is something I have been researching for over year as another way to preserve memories. There are so many options, the possibilities are endless.
Enjoy getting to know your father even more. Give the perfect gift for Father’s Day and ensure dad’s legacy will live forever.
Should you need assistance with any of these ideas, please feel free to contact me.