This Father’s Day is a particularly poignant one for me. 

I lost my Dad in March, and his absence feels especially acute as we approach Father’s Day. 

Our Father’s Day is always a time to fire up the grill, tell stories, and perhaps have one or more adult beverages. This year, there will be no one to ask for a refill of a glass of scotch with frozen water.  We will still fire up the grill, and the menu this year is for Grilled Sea Bass tacos as we celebrate the Fathers in our family and the two Fathers-to-be this coming fall (It is going to be exciting).

My Dad Story

My dad cherished the long summer days. Summers were his favorite time of the year. The extended daylight meant more time to engage in the activities he loved, from pruning his roses in the morning with a cup of coffee to firing up the grill or simply sitting outside with a cold drink. 

A moment that stands out in my mind is the year we switched from having Father’s Day at his house to hosting it at my house.

I gained an enormous amount of knowledge from Dad, but I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen with Mom as a child. That experience created the love I have today for creating great food and memories over meals (and wine) with family and friends.

Dad, for his part in Father’s Day, was also in charge of the grill, accompanied by his glass of scotch and frozen water. Unfortunately, this led to many meats that were cooked past medium, and some perhaps might have been better off being hockey pucks.

On that initial day when Father’s Day was at my house, I oversaw the grill and was joined by Dad and his “refreshments”. As I grilled the steaks, carefully using my meat thermometer to keep them no more than medium, I noticed Dad paying attention to the preparation.  

At dinner, Dad remarked that he had never had a steak so juicy. The other family members erupted in laughter, and he looked bewildered.

I replied, “I learned it all from you.”

Measuring Life in Summers

As I reflect on our memories, I’m reminded of how crucial it is to make the most of the time we have, particularly with our children.

Summers hold a special place in our hearts because they symbolize a season of togetherness. The days are longer, the weather is inviting, and there’s a palpable sense of freedom and adventure in the air. It’s during these months that we create some of our most enduring memories with our children. 

Think about it: from the time they are born until they become adults, we have roughly eighteen summers with our children. Eighteen summers to build sandcastles, teach them how to ride a bike, go camping, travel, and simply be present.

Losing my father has made me acutely aware of the fleeting nature of time. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to let the days slip by unnoticed. But summers are different. They beckon us to slow down, to savor the moments, to prioritize family time. They remind us of the importance of being present, of truly connecting with our loved ones.

How will I live my remaining summers? 

I embrace each day with intention, prioritize family time, and continue the legacy of love and presence that my father instilled in me. Here’s to the summers that remain—may they be filled with warmth, laughter, family, a grill, and a beverage.

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