It feels a tad weird to share this publicly…
Truth is, I wasn’t going to share this at all… not because I don’t appreciate you but because it’s just kind of weird to share so openly. But, since Father’s Day was last week and now my own son is a constant reminder that fatherhood is a daily challenge and privilege, I wanted to share this with you.
A Life-Changing Habit
Every year for more than a decade I’ve been writing letters to people who have impacted my life. The letters have allowed me to express things in words that I may not always say aloud. And the biggest surprise, they’ve changed my life over the years as I reflect on what the recipient of the letter means to me.
I urge you to do something similar for the important people in your life—whether a father, mother, relative, or anyone that’s impacted your life.
I started doing these about 12-13 years ago out of fear! You see, I don’t want to wait until someone’s funeral to share what I felt about them. My biggest fear is that something unexpected might happen to a family member or friend and then I’ll never get a chance again to say something I wish I’d said.
That’s why I’m doing something weird right now: I’m sharing with you a letter that I wrote to my father for Father’s Day.
My dad is such a great guy but I get all choked up trying to tell him something (and/or maybe I’m too manly. )
Maybe you had a relationship with your father like what I had with mine: I don’t really remember hugging my dad and saying “I love you” directly to each other until I was in my mid 20’s or so. Mothers tell their sons “I love you”, and my mother and I would say that to each other when we hung up the phone; but not my father. No judgment on that… that’s just how it was. Some families and cultures are much more open about the relationship between a father and son, but in the sticks of Ohio (where I’m from) you just didn’t see a dad hug and kiss his boy.
The DM and his dad
My father has really opened up with these letters! He actually wrote me a letter back (my mother couldn’t believe it; it’s his first letter he wrote since he was in high school). The letters have opened up my father and I to say “I love you” to each other now and to hug each other. This is a big deal where I’m from.
So I’m sharing one of my letters with you—to proudly share what my dad has done for me, as a reminder to myself about the impact I want to have on my son, and also to give you some inspiration for what you might consider doing for your father or to anyone in your life who has had an impact.
(Hint: For me, it is a powerful thing when I do this … I get emotional, and typically cry when I write this, so you may not want to do this at Starbucks but perhaps do it in private.)
This is a very powerful tool to release some amazing stuff from your head and heart to people that have impacted you in life, it can be big or small but think about this … how many letters do you get from folks that have been impacted by you? If you’re like everyone I know it’s more than likely ZERO. I challenge you to send a letter a week for the next 10 weeks and beyond and see what takes place. It’s one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done.
And for an even greater impact in the world, be sure to share this post with your friends on social media and let’s encourage other people to start writing letters to the people who impact them. I think our world is pretty mixed up right now; just imagine how much we could change things for the better if everyone took a moment and wrote a heartfelt letter to their father or someone else who has had an impact on their life.
Mark Evans DM,DN
PS, I know Father’s Day was last week but I wanted my dad to get the letter first before I shared it with you… plus, you don’t have to wait until Father’s Day to send this because it’s relevant 365 days of the year.
Shaker Heights, Ohio June 2017
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
Dad, first off I want to say Happy Father’s Day!
Now that I’m a father (which is still crazy to me), I’ve realized even more how much you and mom gave up and did for us, and I’m truly grateful for all the things you have done and given us kids.
I know I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again.
It amazes me still that you and mom made every sporting event I was involved in. It meant a lot to me, and still does now, as I know even more now than ever that you sacrificed so much to make that happen.
“The White Van Moments” I need to write a book called this. I learned more on those rides than I ever did in school.
Dad just thinking about all those times in the white van heading to the job sites as a kid with you; freezing my butt off with the windows down; loving every minute of it because I was hanging out with my dad, eating pecan rolls and drinking a Mountain Dew J ; ready to take on the world and make that money with you.
I’m excited to have these types of memories with Baby DM as he gets older to get him working with me and waking him up at 5 am to tackle the world and teach him the work ethic you showed me.
It has to be some of my best childhood memories to get up early, to get to the job and be a forward thinking person to have the materials ready to go when needed and having that floor clean when we leave. “A Clean Job is a Happy Job” right?
You really taught me so much through actions and I appreciate that so much as it laid the foundation of where I’m at today in my life and business: Wake up early … Show up to work every day, not just some days but each and every single day. Make it count.
I remember as a kid, even to high school age, my goal was to wake up and be in the shower before you. Seriously I’d hear you or mom make a move in the morning no matter what time it was and I’d jump and run to shower as if I was up before you guys. Lol. “Early Bird Gets the Worm right”?
You also showed me how to be that person that talks to people—you’d talk to anyone, heck I think even the wall… I know I do. Lol
I didn’t know at the time but it’s a great piece you were just doing and training me on without even knowing you were doing it… I was watching and taking notes. The way people would come to you and shake your hand and say, “Hi, how is so-and-so doing?” You always made time for anyone that would come up to you and talk to them, and even so a joke here and there to them, which I definitely picked up (which gets me in trouble still today with some!) Lol.
Buy hey if they can’t take a joke I’m not their guy, right?
As I type this to you, dad, you know how much I like the crazy cars and houses but that’s all your fault. Joking. But I remember like it was yesterday when we were at the job site at Ilocano’s and that red Ferrari 308 was parked at the job site and I would sit and just look at that car as if it was mine and it was burned in my memory still to this day. I couldn’t have been 9 years old when this happened.
Either way, I remember that moment so much; and more importantly one of the reasons I’m able to buy that car many times over today is because you and mom NEVER told me I couldn’t do anything and you ALWAYS supported “my” decisions good and bad. You may not have liked all my decisions but YOU and Mom always were there no matter what and never judged me on that, knowing that those decisions gave me so much confidence, which helped me tremendously growing as a man on this journey of Life.
I know I’m blabbering here but… you and mom mean so much to me and I’d do anything for you guys no matter what, as I know you would too.
Jeesh.. I just realized I’ll be 39 this year with a 2 year old. At that age you had a 21, 20, and 19 year old which is INSANE to even think about. It’s impressive and again THANK YOU.
Ok …enough of the smooshy stuff J
I’d really love to know more about what you and mom want to do, like your bucket list nothing to BIG or to small you know?
I’d love to get a list of travels you’d like to do with mom or yourself lol, or that new car you’ve been thinking about all these years, or that new house you want to build or buy for you two. Whatever it is I’d love to have a list so I can put them on my list.
I know you would never ask anyone for anything and I’m not asking you to ask me for anything. Just would really love to know all the things that you and mom have been talking and dreaming about for all these years. (It’s okay to be selfish here; us kids and grandkids are all good. So this is for you and mom. If that involves stuff with kids / grandkids on some of them that’s cool too but love to see what’s on the bucket list for you and mom.)
You’ve got 30 days to get this to me as I know you’ll overthink things and not tell me and just say “I’m good as long as all is healthy, we’re great,” as that’s what you and mom have done all your life. Again, I appreciate that but it’s time to be selfish here. J
Ok …I’m getting long winded as I could go on for days on how much you mean to me and all that but I’ll just say this and let you get back to your day …
I love you, dad, so much and I know I don’t tell you enough but you are a great person/man and I’m proud to call you my dad.
Happy Father’s Day.
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