It’s special for me to write about my Dad this Father’s Day, because some of the most meaningful times in my life were the experiences that I had with him. Although he passed away 10 years ago, his memory and spirit still live on with me every day. Everything that he taught me goes beyond words.However, this article is my humble attempt to share some of those memories with all of you about the man I referred to as “Father,” “Pop” (this name made him giggle), “Daddy,” or his all-time favorite name, “World’s Greatest Dad”
As kids, our fondest memories are with the role models in our lives. As I look back, I recall my role model’s (Dad’s) strong belief that the greatest achievement in life is to help others. His desire to make the acquaintance of all types of people was impressive. I will never forget the impression he made on those fortunate enough to benefit from his kindness and genuine love of people.
He made gifts out of things that I never thought others considered valuable. He used to say “Cat, people don’t always have access to a good role models in their lives. The gift we can give them is the best of us and pray that gift is one that they will never forget.” Here are some of the best gifts given from my dad that I will never forget:
- His smile
- His ability to make you feel like he’s known you for years
- His weird and warm advocacy of any local Dollar Store and its entire inventory
- His insistence on handing out peppermint candy (purchased from the Dollar Store of course) to those who had a sweet tooth. I didn’t really understand why he wasn’t aware that chocolate would have been a better choice, but father knows best.
My latest objective, inspired by Dad, is to offer a gift that represents the best of me and pray that the recipient will never forget it. Which leads me to my list (located on Facebook, titled, “Drop in the Bucket List”). I am a great gift giver of thoughtful, store bought gifts. However, this year I need to up my game.There’s nothing more thoughtful than a homemade gift; regardless of the gift giver or receiver’s age, hand-made gifts are special keepsakes. Whether you take this task on by yourself or look to others for help, this approach is definitely a hit.
I decided to make my gift giving fun and exciting by seeking out the help of my sister-in-crime, Jen Dubey. Jen is always ready to take on the world one day at a time. Thanks to our new friends at Painting with a Twist, (580 Frandor Ave., Lansing), we were able to blaze the trails by creating an amateur masterpiece (or in my case, paint on canvas).The wonderful staff at Painting with a Twist created an ideal setting for us to take a creative journey that included music, wine, cheese and paint. But don’t just take my word for it, go and check it out for yourself.
When I selected this goal, it was extremely important to me that the recipient of my hand-made gift was someone in need of a smile. While it is tempting to look to the many people who I know that would get a kick out of my new found skill as a painting genius, I will instead capture the spirit of my Dad and share my work of art with someone in need.This year, I will work with one of our local senior homes and surprise a resident with the painting that Jen and I were able to create. While my painting will never be seen in a reputable art gallery, the sentiment behind it will be respected so much more in the hearts of those that may be encouraged by this gesture.
As I remember my awesome Dad, feel free take a moment to think about yours. Or better yet, think about the legacy you may be leaving for someone else. While I am confident that my dad knows how much I loved and respected him, the opportunity and pleasure of witnessing the love and respect that he had for others is what made him the World’s Greatest Dad. Happy Father’s Day to all of the World’s Greatest Fathers, Pops, Daddies and Dads. Here’s wishing that you are able to take full of advantage of your title, and that someone is watching when you do it.
As always, thanks for following my story. If you want to see more of my 2016 journey, please follow and like me on Facebook – “Drop in the Bucket List.” Feel free to share your “World’s Greatest Dad” stories there or directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.