I Remember

Dear #1 Dad,

I remember all the times you called me your #1 son.

I remember you holding my hand.
I remember when you bought me my first goldfish.

I remember when you helped me bury my first goldfish in the backyard.
I remember sitting on your lap in your favorite chair as you read to me at night.
I remember snuggling with you in bed.

marsh

I remember how much you loved our dog.
I remember you teaching me not to pet our dog’s eyes or pull on her tail.
I remember you getting me Atari and playing games with me.
I remember you putting your hand on my shoulder and telling me you loved having me as a son.

snow dog

I remember you teaching me how to mow the lawn and shovel snow.
I remember you showing me how to use your tools.
I remember you hugging me when you came home from work.
I remember sitting with you at New York Yankees games and reminiscing about you doing the same with your father.
I remember you teaching me the importance of family.

family

I remember you teaching me right from wrong.
I remember you praising me when I did well in school.
I remember you driving me to visit relatives.
I remember when you played monopoly with me.
I remember you holding my hand when we would cross streets.
I remember seeing you go to work every day in your suit and wanting to be like you.

dad work

I remember when you used to take me into town for pizza.
I remember your cousins club meetings.
I remember when you took me for haircuts.
I remember everything you did to make my Bar Mitzvah fun.
I remember you opening the car door for us and holding doors open for people wherever we went.
I remember when you took me to get black and white cookies.
I remember you measuring me on the wall every few months with a pencil to monitor my growth.

baseball

I remember you pitching to me in the backyard.
I remember you coming to my little league games after work and cheering for me from the bleachers.
I remember visiting you at work and being fascinated by your career.
I remember when you cried with me when our dog passed away.
I remember when I was cooking and my food caught fire in a pan and you put it out and didn’t get mad.
I remember playing chess with you.
I remember when you taught me how to cut firewood.
I remember when you taught me the importance of getting along with my sister.

pool
I remember you teaching me not to leave lights on in the house.
I remember when you decided to pay extra to get me braces instead of a retainer.
I remember you buying me four bags of Bachman’s pretzel rods every week.
I remember watching you cut coupons.
I remember every time you believed in me.
I remember you coming to my tennis matches.
I remember when you helped me write speeches.
I remember when you drove me to my first job.
I remember when you taught me how to work hard by your own example.

I remember how kind you were to my friends.
I remember our garage sales.
I remember all the times you made me feel better.
I remember when you taught me the importance of voting.
I remember when you introduced me to Arthur Ashe.
I remember when you taught me not to litter.
I remember all the times you took me to the doctor and told me I would be all right.
I remember when you drove me to camp.
I remember when we discussed politics.
I remember when you taught me to speak out against prejudice.
I remember you being supportive no matter how I did in school.
I remember when you taught me the importance of writing thank you notes.

grad with dad

I remember when you taught me to drive.
I remember our father and son trips.
I remember when you helped me open my retirement account.
I remember the look on your face when we saw Mickey Mantle.
I remember how much you helped people when they needed you.
I remember when my friends would complain about their Dad and I thought about how lucky I was you were my Dad.
I remember all the birthday cards you gave me telling me how proud you were of me and telling me you love me.
I remember when you drove me to college and helped me move into my dorm.
I remember your relationship advice.
I remember the times you would drive to see me in college and we would have dinners out and take walks.
I remember when you told me you were proud of me when I graduated college.
I remember how hard you laughed at Buddy Hackett jokes.
I remember when you told me you were proud of me when I got my first big job.

dad

I remember laughing with you.
I remember when you moved to Florida to be closer to me.
I remember when I would move in Florida and you would move too so you could stay close to me.
I remember our walks on the beach.
I remember how you helped me write annual reports for work to help me advance my career.
I remember when you came to my events.
I remember all the time you calmed me down.
I remember when you would call to tell me to watch something educational on television.
I remember when I was preparing to move and you gave me all of your treasured antique furniture as a gift.
I remember every time I would meet a friend of yours and feeling like they already knew me.
I remember how much you cared about people.
I remember how much you loved Pretzel.
I remember all the times you told me you love me.
I remember how excited I was when you finally let me interview you two months before you passed away.
I remember how excited you were to move across the street from me which was only days away.

dad pretzel

I remember the last time I saw you.
I remember the last time we spoke.
I remember you.

Love,

Your #1 Son

24 thoughts on “I Remember

  1. This is one of the most beautiful tributes to a father. Thank you Andrew for reminding us the importance of our parents’ role in shaping who we are today.

  2. Andrew, that is a beautiful tribute to your Dad. IHow blessed you were to have such a a compassionate, loving influence like him in your life. I know the pain of losing a father: just let yourself grieve and remember. It will lessen over time, but the love and lessons that he gave will always be there. With every victory, with every loss and every joy, you will feel him looking over your shoulder.
    Thank you for sharing these intimate feelings.
    Love,
    Coleen

    1. Hey Max,

      If you don’t already realize it, one day you will realize you have a truly incredible Dad. I hope you’re able to appreciate every day with him. He loves you so much and would do anything for you. Hope to see you soon buddy.

  3. Andrew! I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was clearly a great dad from what you wrote.. And it sets a standard for my own parenting going forward .. Take care

    Adam Birbrower Birbrower Law Firm, PC One Park Place, Suite 200 Peekskill, N.Y. 10566 (914) 737-1020 adamb@birbrowerlaw.com

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. So beautiful. It’s impossible to even imagine all our fathers (and mothers) did for us – and yet the product of all those things is embodied in you. You are the evidence of all that love and care.

  5. Your father’s respect and compassion for you lives on in all the positive ways you affect the animals and life around you. A beautiful legacy! Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Beautiful memories … I need to stop and “remember” too… no timeline on mourning… need to remember this too~

    1. Thank you Lynne. This was a helpful exercise for me as it helped to shift my focus from the regrets (what I’ve now learned is a common reaction) to the positive memories (what my father would have wanted). It was very therapeutic. I highly recommend it.

      I appreciate you taking the time to write to me.

  7. This is a wonderful thing to do to honour your father. Your dad evidently loved you very much. This list inspires me to do the same for my parents, now eight and twelve years after their death. I think of them all the time. Life is different without our parents. Maybe it’s something we never “get over.” Wishing you well, Andrew.

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