Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Gentle Gardener


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Forgiveness is to give love when it seems there is no reason to do so.

Today’s color photo comes from an after school event hosted by a neighbor in the park across the street from our homes. I do not know this little gal’s name, but do I remember that she loved the camera like Paula Dean loves a stick of butter. Can’t you tell?

The B&W photo is one I took of my neighbor Graham and his twins, used in the Thank You, Dad book that was released this past March. If you haven’t seen it, it makes a great Father’s Day gift; it includes pages for you to add your own photo and write a thank you message.

In the course of emailing people about one or another of my books or photographing them for whatever reason, I’ve gotten to know quite a few people well enough to consider them my friends. I know this to be true because we stay in touch, hug when we great, and if they are afar, I get updates and photos in the email, and the occasional Christmas card. Yesterday I got a surprise call from one of these friends. She wanted to let me know her dad, the man she has shared stories with me about, had died. It felt like I had lost a friend, too.

I had my weekly visit with my father-in-law yesterday and he began to tell me of his memories of Jill’s milestone moments, such as high school graduation, first job, college graduation, giving birth to his granddaughter, etc. Now I can’t decide what to do with all the embarrassing details I’m sure my wife doesn’t realize I now know!

I received 21 new stories yesterday! Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this book. Here are a few excerpts from the new touching anecdotes I have added to my treasure chest:

“My real is Abigail, which means “father joy”, and I am proud to say that I am a daddy’s girl. Although my dad died at the age of 49 in an industrial accident, we can always feel his presence. I will never forget all his jokes, the times he was so strict to my suitors, when he tried to cook even though he didn’t know how, and carrying me to bed when I fell asleep.”

“The one story about my dad that sticks out in my head is a couple years ago I went thru health problems. I’ll never forget how my 78 yr old dad climbed into bed beside me and cried with me; his lips quivering as he gave me advice, loved me, held me, and was just there for me.”

“Although we were decidedly lower-middle class, urban Detroiters in the 1960's, I never knew I wasn't anything but rich growing up. It's not that I lived in a fantasy world or that my parents completely protected me from reality. But by simply watching my Dad find supreme pleasure in something as simple as a bag of steaming hot, roasted peanuts while sitting in the bleachers watching a baseball game, I learned my most cherished life-lesson - the glass IS half-full.”

“I greet my daughter at the bus stop several days a week and we spend time doing homework, playing or whatever. Recently, we’ve been spending almost every afternoon at the community pool. However, the other day we skipped the pool and decided to do arts and crafts in the driveway. After 30 minutes of finger painting and drawing on the sidewalk, she looked up at me and said ‘Daddy, playing with you is much better than being at the pool with everyone else.’”

I cannot say thanks often enough not only for the stories, but for the trust people have extended to me with these very personal looks into the windows of their hearts.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!



2 comments:

JCsings4Him said...

How did you EVER find my blog??? I am quite interested in your book. Both of my daughters love their Dad and my eldest (middle child) wrote a piece about him for a website called "My True Hero" which, after the board googled my husbands name and found the piece, helped get him the Senior Pastorate position at our present church. We were quite surprised, we never knew.

Anyway...they truly love their father, and I am on my way to visit your web site. Thank you!!!

My name is Joann.

Ron said...

Greg, thanks for visiting my blog (I wasted time and now doth time waste me) and for your invitation to contribute to your dad/daughter book. I consider that a great compliment and plan on mailing you something soon. But I really wanted you to know that I have enjoyed reading here on your site today. It made me smile, laugh, and get a little teary eyed at the thought of kids ... mine, yours, every ones. Life is about relationships and my favorite relationships are with kids. You reminded me of that. I owe ya one.