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Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Part I: What Is or Was the Most Special Moment You Had with Your Dad?

My Conversation with Abraham Lincoln & My Father
Thought for the Day: In this Father's Day week, what is or was the most special moment you had with your dad? Holidays like Mother's Day & Father's Day can be hard if your relationship with your parents was not picture perfect or if your parent has passed away. Whatever your relationship was like, whether they are here or no longer with you, it may be helpful to remember special moments. When I saw a request for posts about special moments with your father on a facebook group of alum from my High School, the stories were wonderful.

      My first reaction was mixed. I was touched, but was also a bit envious of the multiple posts about special moments with fathers. I felt I did not have many stories I could recall in my memory. I wrote this:
       What wonderful stories. Since my parents were divorced, I have more negative stories than positive ones about my father. That is one of the worst things that happen to children when marriages end & parents don't get along. My father did take us out on Sundays & some of the visits were positive, but usually they ended in sadness. He would complain that we did not call him during the week. He was, however, an amazing parent substitute as an adult leader to tons of teenagers in Bnai Brit. When we would visit, his house would be filled with other people's children who called him, Uncle Morris & turned to him as a father figure, mentor & advisor. It always seemed ironic to me that my brothers & I never felt that way towards him. I would not even join Bnai Brit. Fortunately, he was a better grandfather than father & as an adult we developed a better relationship.

After I posted that story on the facebook page, I thought some more about my father & recalled this story & posted it:
Morris Bogdanow. 1912 - 1988
      Even before the divorce, when we traveled with my father, we got more of his undivided attention than in every day life,  One of my best memories of my father was on one of our vacations on a visit to the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln was one of my father's heroes. (FDR was probably his 2nd most admired president.) On that particular trip, I was about 5 or 6 years old & he told me that President Lincoln could hear me. I spoke to President Lincoln's statue & my father pretended to answer me from near the statue. I thought the president was addressing me! 
     Not long after that my parents were divorced & many of the memories were jaded by their discord. My brothers became my father figures & did a good job at stepping in for him. He was a lawyer who fought for clients of all races religions & creeds. My respect for both Abraham Lincoln & my father's views on social justice remain strong. I appreciate the values my father represented to me. Despite the divorce & the painful memories, he helped instill in me a genuine love of reading, social activism, human rights & respect for all people. I am thankful for these lessons that I learned from him.

What is or was the most special moment you had with your dad?


Ruth Douthitt said...

Great post!! Thanks for making me stop and think about my dad.

For me, the greatest moment came when my book was published. My dad, not much of a reader, actually read my book! It's for middle grade kids, so you can see why I was shocked that he would want to read it.

Not only that, he read it and liked it so much, he called me to tell me how much he liked it!

That meant the world to me.

Again, thanks for the post.


Barbara Lavi said...

Thanks Ruth! I love your story about your Dad taking the time to read a children's book & letting you know he liked it. As parents we often don't realize how important our feedback is, even for our adult children. Barbara