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A Word of Advice
Posted 11/23/2011

One of the most precious gifts that I ever received was from my sweet Daddy. I knew at a young age that my Daddy would most likely not be around to see my children born and tell them all of his stories. Back in 2000, I gave my Dad a journal and asked him to write down all of his childhood memories, medical school stories, years in the Navy, etc. He thought it was a great idea but had quite a hard time starting it. I remember receiving a call from him one day, while living in Dallas, and he was so proud to tell me that he had written his first story and was now on a roll! I could not wait to get home, sit in his study with a cup of hot tea and read what he had written. What I found was unbelievable. Here I thought I had given him a gift but in reality, he gave me the most precious gift that I will ever receive. I have his stories-- in his handwriting. He wrote stories of me growing up, stories of his brothers and sisters, stories of how he figured out that he wanted to become a doctor while helping with anesthesia onboard a ship during the Korean War. It’s amazing, I can hear him in my head when I read the journal. I hear him laughing and can picture his sweet smile with the little tilt of his head. I can feel his love in those stories.

So here’s my advice, whether you are sentimental or not ask those you love to tell their stories. Get your parents to write down their memories. Tape record or video record your grandparents telling about their childhood and hold tight to those memories.

I recently saw a cute movie called Leap Year. In the movie they ask the question, “What would you grab if your house caught fire and you had 60 seconds to grab anything you wanted.”  Think about it…what would you grab?  I know exactly what I would grab. My Daddy’s journal, my Grandmother’s bible that she read every day, a book of letters that was given to me after my journey as Miss Texas from all of the places and people that I talked to and met along the way. I would probably try for a few other things but those are the things I know without a doubt I would grab.

Tags: Leap Year dad advice stories journal tradition grandmother childhood bible letters Navy father word