Today has been filled with knocking many things off of my checklist. From pre-making lunches for the week to arranging a hotel room for an upcoming business trip to cleaning off my dresser to getting unpacked to all the normal stuff it’s been a busy day! With all that going on I’m especially thankful for the chunk of time we took as a family right after lunch to play several games of Blockus, Tenzi, & King Kong with all four of us. It also felt great talking with my mom and brother for the first time in over a week. Once I’m done with my blog pretty much everything is done for the day and I’ll be off to bed.
There was one thing that’s been on my list for a while that I just hadn’t taken the time to do and I’m thankful that I did tonight. Earlier this summer I switched phones but kept my old one as a back up in case something happened to the new one. At some point I realized that I no longer had the old texts that my dad and I had sent to each other and I was overjoyed to find that I still had many of them saved on the old phone.
When I went back to read them I couldn’t help but smile and hear my dad’s voice reading each one. I scrolled through all of them and took screenshots of them to save them for the long haul. Tonight was the night I got them all loaded onto my file sharing info to save.
As I went through the texts I literally laughed out loud at some, smiled happily at great memories in others, and had a tear or two when reading a couple as well. Reading them was like going back in a time machine and brought back so many memories. In some ways it felt like he was back with me for a little while – what a gift! I could hear his laugh and see his smile in each line.
As I read through them it helped me remember why I’m blogging daily and why I’m writing a book for my boys about the experience of losing my dad. At some point I won’t be around for them anymore. Knowing how much it means to me to be able to go back and hear my dad’s voice on a voicemail or read texts that he and I sent each other I feel that the least I can do is leave them some fun reminders of our times together as well. At some point it may help to bring them joy and help them figure some things out about themselves after I’m gone.
One text exchange in particular hit the nail on the head in a way that almost borders on eerie as I look back a year and a half later:
May 25, 2016 10:05pm
Me: Whew… Today’s blog (click here to see it) was a very happy yet very tough one to write and is a reminder of why I write it every day to take time to appreciate some memories that could otherwise fade away. It’s also why I share it publicly, my hope is that everyone who reads it will take a moment to think about someone they’ve lost and focus on keeping that memory strong. Love you dude!
Dad: Thanks Mike, your blog was so awesome! I too wish I could have just 5 minutes with him. Love you, Dad
As I read back through our texts I feel so close to him and am reminded of so many little moments that could have been forgotten. I’m thankful for these old texts with my dad, not just for the memories of him and joy it brings me, but also for reminding me why I keep blogging and writing every day… to be able to give my boys the same gifts he’s given me.