Friday, May 04, 2007

How will you be remembered?

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…

First, some BIG THANK YOUs are in order – to the Greater Atlanta Christian School and the Wesleyan School for distributing news about my book project to the parents of your students, as well as to www.dadsanddaughters.org and www.fatherville.com for adding my request for stories to their newsletters. I am sincerely grateful for your help.

Today’s photograph is from my book Brothers and Sisters. These girls live in my neighborhood and were operating a Kool-Aid stand one hot summer afternoon. I talked them into letting me take this photo and then I bought a cup, tipping them $20 bucks. They thought they were rich. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all thought so little was indeed so much?

In case you’re in Atlanta, I’m signing books this Sunday from 2:00 – 4:00 at the Barnes & Noble store at the Forum on Peachtree Pkwy.

Here’s something else I’ve learned recently in the course of talking with daughters: If a daughter isn’t reassured by her dad, later it is hard for her to believe a boyfriend, even a husband, when he tries to give comfort and reassurance.

I’ve heard from a large number of women who have lost their dads; some cry during the interview even when the dad may have died years ago. Yes, they recall bad times and mistakes the dad made, but more than that, they are still affected by his loving kindness and playful affection. These women share their stories with me to honor their fathers. It is touching. It is also provocative in that it leaves me wondering how my girls will remember me. Better yet, what will I do or say now that I want to be sure they remember later?

Coincidentally, here is an excerpt from a story I received yesterday from a loving daughter:

“Dad, you showed me how to love my children by the way you loved me. You always took time for me, taking me fishing, talking with me, listening more than anything else. You valued me and proved that time and again by putting me before your own pursuits. When I was involved in something, you supported it wholeheartedly and completely. I was never left to wonder if Daddy would be there when I needed him.”

Perhaps it all boils down to this - it isn’t how much money he can make, how influential he is, how much weight he can lift, how well he hunts or plays sports, but instead it is how his wife and children remember him that is the only measure of a man that truly counts. So Dads, go out and make some memories this weekend. Your wife will appreciate it as much as your kids will.

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

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