Yesterday I picked a flower and lit a candle, put on Dad’s favourite song “I Was Born Under a Wandrin’ Star”. Then made a special breakfast the way Dad used to do it. “Happy Father’s Day Dad, this is my tribute to you”.
It’s the simple things that make Father’s Day, even for those of us who can’t actually celebrate Father’s Day with our Dads anymore. Today can mean different things to different people when for whatever reason Dad is not there. I personally have decided not to get sad and instead use today to remember his life and the happy memories. So today I thought I’d look at ways we can celebrate those special fathers and grandfathers who are no longer with us in the physical world.
Here are my top 10 ideas:
- Talking about Dad. This can be done by just sharing some conversations about Dad with family or you can also choose to record it either onto audio or video.
- Visit Dad’s final resting place, and spend some quiet time with him.
- If Dad loved gardening, consider buying one of his favourite plants and planting it in the garden or a special pot today to honour his memory. Every time it blooms it will remind you of the happy times he spent nurturing you.
- Do something your Dad would have enjoyed doing on Father’s Day. If he loved football, go to a football game and support ‘his’ team. If fishing was his love, go fishing, if he loved golf or lawn bowls and you’ve never tried it – now is the time. Dedicate any ‘wins’ to Dad.
- Think of at least one positive value that your Dad upheld to his credit and vow to emulate it. This could be his determination, his sense of humour, loyalty to family etc. This is how you will honour ‘his’ values.
- If your Dad was a volunteer for charity, carry on his work for him by also donating your time to the same cause or make a donation to your Dad’s favourite charity.
- Remember Dad through artistic expression. Today might be the day you can find the words to put into a poem, or to paint a picture of him or write a tune or song and dedicate it to him. If you aren’t artistic, then perhaps you could write him a letter full of all the wonderful memories you shared and keep it somewhere special.
- Create a scrapbook either alone or with the children using photos of Dad/Grandad. If you are not good with fiddly scrapbooking techniques or don’t want to be bothered with the mess – there are many digital versions on Apps now where you can easily create scrapbooks, Ecards, slideshows and more all set to music of your choice (either from their supplied catalogue or your own) then and add your own photos, videos and captions. Personally, I don’t need more shelf space to store big heavy albums and you can easily share them with the rest of the family.
- If you have young children that never knew Dad. Now is the time to create some trivia cards about Grandad. This is something that can be a family effort. Write all the facts about Dad or Grandad onto a range of small beautiful textured or coloured cards and place them into a small decorated box which can be kept next to a framed photo of Dad that can be looked at and added to every year.
- Last but not least. Perhaps this is the time you could start looking into your Dads family tree? Truly get to know your Dad and the generations that preceded him. Trust me, I’ve not met a person yet who doesn’t get fascinated with this. You can start online at Genes Reunited or Ancestry.com which both have links to genealogy sites in other parts of the world. This is a gift to yourself that will keep on giving not only to you and to your Dad’s memory but also for his and your generations to come.