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Want a Special Way to Celebrate Dad? Here's a Favorite.

Many of you have requested this Father's day reprise. I'm delighted to share it again.

One year, I forgot Father’s Day.

Somehow, between work and travel and obligations it just slipped off my radar. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in June, several years ago. After a leisurely brunch with Tim and a long hike with the dogs, I called my Mom to say hi and asked if they had any plans for the day.

“Well,” she said, “some friends are coming over to celebrate Father’s Day and I’m making meat pie and apple fritters, your Dad’s favorite.”

Wait, what? Rats! How could I have missed this?

My mind scurried through options. In all fairness, this was before the days of Amazon Prime and same day delivery. Back then, giving a Father’s Day gift required a little more time and foresight, neither of which I had at that moment.

This was also The Time Before Virtual Meetings. (Can you even remember that time?!) My parents lived almost 200 miles away. With my Monday morning schedule, there was no way I could make the roundtrip visit. Also:

  • No time to stop at the store for a pair of sweatpants, or button down, or Steelers sweatshirt.

  • No time to order the tie with the periodic chart (Dad taught High School Chemistry).

  • No time to bake his favorite rhubarb pie.

I dashed upstairs to my computer and stared at the blank screen. Then it came to me. I started typing.

10 Things I Love About My Dad

  1. I love how you always made time for us. Even when you didn’t have time.

  2. I love how you would grab Mom and spontaneously dance in the living room. Even though we gagged and rolled our eyes and made throw-up noises every time.

  3. I love how we used to sit on the boys’ bottom bunk bed and you would captivate us with the adventures of Rumplestiltear the flying squirrel, complete with character voices.

  4. I love how you taught us where the best raspberries grew, and how to compost, and how to stake a tent, and drive stick, and sled down the Big Hill without flying into the street, and whistle through a blade of grass.

  5. I love how you’d sit patiently with me at the dining room table for hours, helping me with homework and coming up with all kinds of creative (and sometimes “out there”) interpretations of my English reading assignments.

  6. I love how you welcomed Tim into our family, as if he were your own son.

  7. I love how - for you, love has always been a verb. Even when you were short on words, we never doubted for a minute how much you love us.

  8. I love how you walked back to Woolworth’s with me when I was five so I could tell the cash register lady,“Yes, I did eat the PayDay bar and we are here to pay for it.” (Okay, maybe I didn’t love it in the moment but I grew to appreciate it over time.)

  9. I love how you used to whistle me and the boys home for lunch or dinner when we were off in the woods climbing trees, and jumping off rocks, and digging for treasure.

  10. I love how you showed up unannounced for friends and family, toolbox in hand, when the tree fell on the house, or the garage door crashed, or the wasps got into the shed.

Once I warmed up, the list rolled on…

11. I love how you’ve always believed in me, and taught me the power of kindness, and honesty, courage, and quiet strength.

And so, my friend, how about you? What do you love about your dad? How has he shaped the person you are today?

Right about now you might be thinking, “What if my father is no longer here?”

  • What if you took a few minutes this holiday and basked in the gifts your Father gave you?

  • Or, is there another dad that you could reach out to this Father’s Day, to let them know how much they mean to you? Maybe a husband? A brother? A son or son-in-law? A neighbor? A friend?

  • And maybe it’s not 10 things that you come up with. Maybe it’s 1, or 3 or 5, or 20, or 100.

That Sunday afternoon, I sent my email.

Ten minutes later, I called my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Mom answered the phone. “Um, can you give him a few minutes? I’m not sure why, but he’s in front of the computer, crying.”

Go Dads. You help lead the way and shape young souls in countless, untold ways.

Happy Father’s Day.

With So Much Love,


Decide Happy is now available in paperback, e-Book, and Audio, wherever books are sold, including Amazon.

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