Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It is my honor

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

I usually receive what turns out to be my favorite fan mail right around Father’s Day, such as this jewel:

“It is hard to write to someone you don't know about something so personal as my relationship with my father. But I feel compelled to share with you the beginning of what I hope will become a family tradition that involves your awesome book "Why a Daughter Needs a Dad". But first, a little history...

My father, whose given name Edward James, was shortened to Jim to prevent confusion between him and his father. Although, I don’t think that was necessary, because there could not be two more different personalities than theirs. I loved my father more than any one I have ever loved. He was, undeniably, my biggest fan, my gentlest critic, my co-lover of great music, my best teacher, the biggest and strongest rock in my foundation and my best friend. I will never be able to adequately describe how deeply thankful I am to have had the opportunity to learn from his example, how to treat others and how to exercise my faith in God.

On Christmas Day, 2002, I gave my father your book for Christmas. He was 78 years old. I have always been straight-up with my Dad, for to have been untruthful to him would have plunged a dagger into the heart of our life together. So he always knew how much I loved and respected him.

Four years later, in September, 2006, just shy of his 82nd birthday, my Dad died. Because of paralysis my Dad was unable to move on his own for the last 6 weeks of his life. It was this paralysis, though horrible for him, which fortunately allowed him to remain relatively pain free until the cancer affected his breathing 2 days before he died. During those 6 weeks, my mother, brothers and sisters (5 of them), nieces and nephews and friends were able to spend hours and hours remembering with him, laughing with him and enjoying him and what he meant to us.

Toward the end, my Dad chose to tell me some very important things. That I would always be his baby, that I was special in his eyes and that he wanted to look closely at my face so he would always remember it. I miss him terribly, but I am so grateful to have had these special moments with him.

So, now to the point of my email… following my Dad’s death, my Mom – broken in half with grief, returned some of our gifts to us that Dad had treasured so much. Among the items I received was your book. I have kept it on my coffee table since then and many friends and family have commented favorably about it.

Today, I will pass this book along to my nephew in honor of his 1st Father’s Day. My Dad’s first great-granddaughter was born this past May 14. Next to the note I had written to my Dad in 2002 on the inside cover, I wrote to my nephew that I wanted to let him know how much I loved him and believed in his ability to be as wonderful a father to Olivia as my Dad was to me.

So you see, I thought I should thank you for giving me the tool I used to share my love for my Dad with him. It has meant so much to me and I am sure will live on generations to come.

Happy Father’s Day, Greg and thanks again. I hope my words here are successful in communicating how much your work has meant to me and my family.”

They do; I am honored, indeed.

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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