Several years ago my daughter gave me for Father’s Day a journal entitled A Father’s Legacy—Your Life Story in Your Own Words.
Each page has a question with space to write on themes from a lifetime of experiences—childhood, family life, education, career, love and marriage, parenting. It asks for recollections of time spent with school friends, of summer holidays, the sports I played, my favorite memory of my mother, what I remember about my first date (being nervous, and asking my mother if I could use her car the day after passing my driver’s exam—she said yes), of my greatest joy in being a father—to name a few.
I have been adding to the journal, a little at a time, with increasing appreciation of the thought behind the gift. It is more than a way of passing stories along. It is a way of memorializing the values that built the stories—values that build families.
I know these memories will be cherished, as I cherish the memories of my parents. The success of a family business is in the family. The joy is in the family. Without that, what is there?