A Father’s Day Reflection

Father'sDay pic

As Father’s day approaches, and I think about my father who passed in 2012, I thought I would share some reflections on conversations with dad.

During my mother’s fight with cancer in 2009, and about a 6 months before her death, which we both knew was approaching, I came across a great little book, Questions for My Father: Finding the Man Behind Your Dad by Vicent Staniforth. I found the book to be a great conversation tool for my parents and me, particularly as we faced their final months because let’s face it, as men we frequently prefer or at least find it easier to converse within our heads rather than with others. I will let the book’s introduction speak for itself.

“This book is the result of long midnight conversations with Dad – but they are conversations that took place in the dreams and quiet, troubled times in the years following his death. While I remember his answers to a few of these questions from his living years, for the rest I can only wish that he was around in person so I could hear his response without the unreliable filter of memory or interpretations.”

Prior to finding this book, dad and I primarily talked Clemson sports and stocks, but we both had been at these long enough to know that the words of Adam Smith in The Money Game ring true both in life and bull markets.

“You and I know that one day the orchestra will stop playing and the wind will rattle through the broken window panes. We are all at a wonderful party, and by the rules of the game we know that at some point in time the Black Horsemen will burst through the great terrace doors to cut down the revelers, but the music and wines are so seductive that we do not want to leave, but we do ask, “What time is it? What time is it? Only none of the clocks have any hands.”

As a result of this common knowledge, particularly during Clemson’s 2012 season when dad no longer had the energy to join us at the football games, we used our time differently. I learned that dad had wanted to be a history major but his professor told him there were no jobs for history majors, so dad turned to medicine instead. Funny, I chose to attend Washington & Lee because of its history and history department, but due to the advice of my history department advisor, I graduated with a degree in Economics instead.

Have a happy Father’s Day and remember to enjoy the conversation.

Allen Gillespie

Questions For My Father: Finding The Man Behind Your Dad is available on Amazon.