I was shopping with my son for his back to school clothes a couple of weeks ago and I did something strange. I hugged a sweater, or more accurately a rack of sweaters.
As Ryan and I were walking by this one clothing rack I saw a men's dark coloured v-neck lightweight pullover sweater, and without even thinking about it I went up to the rack and wrapped my arms around the sweaters and gave them a good 5 second hug.
This was during peak back to school shopping season and the store was pretty busy so I'm sure I got a few strange looks and eyebrow raises, but I don't care. It made me feel so much better to do what I did.
Why? Because my Dad used to wear sweaters like that. In fact it is what I refer to as a Papa sweater, Papa being the name my kids called my Dad. But sadly my Dad passed away 6 years ago and sometimes I just miss him so much I have to do something like hugging a rack of sweaters.
It's funny how therapeutic it actually is. It didn't feel the same as hugging my Dad, because of course the sweaters didn't hug me back, but in my mind I made believe I was hugging him, and letting him know I love him.
I am reminded of my Dad on a regular basis with simple day to day things; a v-neck sweater, seeing someone reading, hearing a Scott Joplin song, or political discussions, or goofy jokes, but most of all I am reminded by my sons. Some of my boys have inherited his blue eyes, his mannerisms or his love of politics. Some have a love of reading or an entrepreneurial spirit, and all of them have some of his slightly warped sense of humour and his kindheartedness. And for that I am thankful.
I had an amazing Dad and even though I miss him everyday, I am grateful for the time we had. So, if you still have your Dad, take a minute today and call him and say hi and tell him you love him. Better yet, go and see him and give him a hug, now, while you still can. Let him tell you some of the old stories, if he's able, or just sit and hold his hand. Take time to enjoy your Dad, today. You won't regret it.