Every time I visit my dad I try to capture one story about his life. I’ll find a quiet time when we are alone and ask, “Dad, tell me a story about your life that you’ve never shared with me before.”
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about my parents just by starting a conversation this way. It’s also funny how many times the motorcycle in this photo is featured in my parents’ stories. I also learned that Dad really, really loved that motorcycle so it’s great to have a photo of him posed with his beloved bike. This photo was taken by my mom about a year before Dad left for America.
I never know what story gems will emerge when I ask…
When I asked Dad to tell me a story on my latest visit, he started to tell me the details of his first day in America. He arrived in New York City in 1954, bursting with hopes and dreams and $20 in his pocket. Can you imagine heading to a new country to live with $20 in your pocket? It was amazing to hear about his experience going from a farm in Europe to New York City immigrant in one day. Even now, years later, Dad remembers the details of the sights, smells and sounds of NYC that first day—including his very first meal at a New York deli. Hearing him relive that day and the excitement in his voice made me appreciate his courage and sense of adventure that much more. It takes courage to leave your family and everything you know to strike out on your own with just a few dollars, determination and a willingness to work hard. What was even more amazing to me is that he didn’t speak any English and still managed to find work in 3 days. This was the first time I’d heard any of these details and I will always remember the excitement he felt in sharing the memories.
Sharing Stories this Father’s Day…
With Father’s Day approaching, what better time to capture and share your dad’s stories with your family. If you are spending time with your dad in the coming weeks, why not find a quiet time to ask him to tell you a story. You may be amazed at what you learn. Or, share a memorable story about your dad with family and friends. Who knows, you may even start a new Father’s Day tradition for your family.
If you’d like to share your experience capturing a Father’s Day story, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us here or on our Facebook page. And, yes, I’ll be calling my dad and asking the question.