I’ve heard it said that daughters carry their fathers with them even when they aren’t around. Today is the anniversary of my father’s death, so that phrase is on my mind today, a phrase that certainly rings true for me. I probably carry Dad in my heart even more today, five years later.
September 30, 2009, seems like a lifetime ago, yet I remember the details just like yesterday: the weather (a sunny, windy fall day), what I was wearing (blue jeans, a t-shirt, and a black fleece vest), and what we ate for dinner (Sloppy Joes). Now I can’t even recall what I wore yesterday or ate for lunch on any given day, so I suppose filing away little details like that has been one way to preserve his collective memory.
Our relationship bonded over activities like gardening, as represented in this “Lenny and the Giant Tomato” moment. Strengthening our relationship through gardening continued into adulthood. When Joel and I bought our first home, my dad and mom were there to help us beautify our lawn, landscape all around the perimeter of the house, and design our first vegetable garden.
I bring up these activities that strengthened our relationship because I just finished listening to a fantastic podcast about how strong bonds can form when a father intentionally plans time with his daughter. The podcast is from Sarah Mackenzie’s Read-Aloud Revival where she interviews Alice Ozma, author of The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared. Alice shares how the relationship with her father was strengthened through reading aloud together for 3,218 days.
Seriously. 3,218 days? Impressive.
It’s a delightful, convicting conversation between two joy-filled woman. I listened to the podcast last night, and their chat truly blessed me in so many ways. While my dad didn’t read-aloud in the same way Alice’s dad did, my father certainly was intentional about sharing his love for gardening and sports with us. The conversation has forced me to consider how intentional I am with the time spent with my children and what activities I would like to pass along (I’ll save them some heartache and keep the Chicago Cubs to myself!).
Now I’m off to go find Alice’s book. And maybe listen to the podcast again! You can do the same by clicking on the icons below.