Friday, September 30, 2011

Leave no questions behind

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About 5 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis for business.  While there, I visited the veteran’s memorial and found my grandfather’s grave site.  He was my father’s father.  I don’t recall ever meeting him.  As I understand from my dad, he wasn’t really into my dad’s life or into ours.  My dad didn’t have too many stories to tell about my grandfather or what he was like.  Maybe it’s by choice or maybe it was because he left early in my dad’s life.  Anyhow, I’ve just found it sad that I cannot find a single picture, article, or anything about my grandfather.  All I could find was his tombstone.

022806-05Yes, I know it’ll be different in the Facebook, blogging, & tweeting era that we’re living in now.  However, I think we need to take it upon ourselves to leave no question in our families’ lives who we are and what our loved ones mean to us.

A book that has set me on a path to making sure that my family knows what I mean to them is Letters From Dad by Greg Vaughn.  The subtitle to the book is How to Leave a Legacy of Faith, Hope, and Love for Your Family.  Like I said, there should be no question left and this book really does lay that out.  It discussed the simple notes to the last messages that you’d like to give. 

There are some simple ways that this can be done.  The book’s primary method is writing letters to your loved ones in the present and to given when you pass.  This seems a bit on the sad side, but wouldn’t you want to know that you’ve said everything that you wanted and they know how you really felt?

There are additional ways that your family can know how you feel about your love for them.  Of course, tell them often and verbalize it.  But, as well, sing their praises in public.  One way that I did this is through Twitter, Facebook, and my blog.  I know these methods are not for everyone, but it works for me.  Below are some additional methods.

  • Twitter – it’s so quick to pop out a 140 characters of how proud of your kids.
  • Facebook – posting a picture of your family and what they mean to you is super easy.
  • Blogging – it seems that blogs are becoming fewer and fewer, but with the ability of anyone being able to view it.  It’s my hopes that my family will read it again to see who I was.  They will see it interlaced with thoughts on God, family, running, work, friends.  Here are some blog posts from the past about my kids:
  • Handmade cards – my dad was good at making these.  Below is one that he made for me back in 1982 when I was in high school.  Even more special is that he mailed it to the house.  Kids never get mail and kids dig mail the most.

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  • Little notes – when I visited home from the Air Force.  My dad would leave little notes on the dash of my car for me to find when I would leave.  Here are a couple below.  Click on the pic to see the text.

 

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  • I’ve also received letters from my dad.  It’s been several years since I’ve got any from him, but whenever the need arises, I just grab an old letter and read it.

As you can see, I’ve saved these letters and notes.  They mean so much to me to capture who my dad is and something that I’d passed down to my children.  I’ve also saved notes and letters that my kids have given me.

So, after all of this to say… I urge you to proactively take steps to let your family know how much you love them through the appropriate methods listed above.  I love my family, and my friends and I don’t want there to be any doubt.

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