I often joke during performances that “almost everyone has a dad.”
Whether you have a good relationship with dear ol’ dad is another issue. Family members can really put your communication skills to the test.
Something about long-standing relationships often has us reading old scripts. The result? Even a simple family dinner can be very uncomfortable. Have a little beer or wine with the meal and things can go off the rails.
Good relations with your father are usually some combination of fortune and hard work. Be patient with family members even when they aren’t patient with you.
Imagine how many times your mom and dad put up with one of your imperfections, especially in your early years.
In short, value every day with the people you love. If, for example, you believe in celebrating Father’s Day, try to think of every day as Father’s Day.
I was lucky to have a pretty good relationship with both of my parents, especially Dad. It seems like my temperament was similar to his.
The last thing I did for my dad was very therapeutic and I think he would have appreciated it very much. I published his letters.
Letters from dad, message from Michael
When mom died, Dad missed her a lot.
He began to cope with his own mortality by writing letters to his four sons.
All of the letters were the same except for how they were addressed. His letters to me began “Dear Michael Angelo.”
The missives are filled with stories of how he grew up during the depression, the youngest of twelve siblings. They also include powerful life lessons, entertaining anecdotes, and even some funny jokes. The collection became a kind of retroactive diary that chronicled the best of the old man’s life.
My brothers and I shared Dad’s letters and they resonated with people everywhere. As a published author, I knew that Dad’s stories, lessons, and humor could help many people if they were made available to the public.
So one weekend shortly after Dad died, I set up some audio gear and recorded his letters. The finished product is remarkably touching and has generated positive feedback from people all over the world.
Create legacy in your family
Dad’s letters taught me the value of keeping a written record of my memories and thoughts.
Consider creating a similar legacy for your family.
If you’re a parent, write letters to your children, keep a blog or record your stories in audio or video format. If you’re the child of a parent, help mom or dad document life lessons that can be passed on to future generations of your family.
Learn more by listening to Dear Michael Angelo–A Father’s Life Letters to His Son.
Whatever you decide, best of luck in your quest to create a positive legacy for your loved ones.