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107 years ago, Sonora Smart Dodd celebrated the first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington. She wanted to honor her father, a civil war veteran and single parent who raised six children. Her mother died during childbirth.

She came up with the idea after hearing a Mother’s Day Sermon and wondered why there wasn’t a special day to honor all dads.

Today, Father’s Day is the fourth biggest day for sending greeting cards after Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

This year, if you’re lucky enough to still have your dad, give him a different kind of present. Give him the gift of your sincere appreciation and help him reflect on some positive memories from his past by asking him questions you’ve never asked before.

Take some time between now and Sunday to write down all the things your dad has done that has brought out the best in you and why you’re sincerely grateful for him being your dad. For some of you, this will be easy. Your dad was one of the most positive influences in your life. For others, it will be more of a challenge. No father is without flaws; and even if your experience with your dad had only a few good memories, it will help both of you to accentuate the positives.

Meet with your dad one-on-one and thank him for all he’s done for you. Then ask about his most positive memories as a parent and a child. Ask him to share what he thought he did well as a dad. Ask about the values he used to guide his day-to-day decisions. Ask him anything that will get him to share his positive thoughts and feelings about the past.

One day you will not have the opportunity to experience a meaningful conversation like this with your dad. No one lives forever. So do something different this year. Spend some time alone with your dad and just listen to him. There is no need to disagree with his perception of the past or offer your point of view. Remember, helping him create positive memories is your present. If you choose to have this kind of conversation, it will be the greatest Father’s Day gift you and your dad will ever receive.

If your dad has passed away, I think it would be a good idea to find another man and give the same kind of gift to him.

Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin


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