Gifts From Our Fathers

As Father's Day approaches, we're reflecting on the gifts we carry from our dads—whether they're still with us or not. The below story was contributed by one of's Content Screeners. Click the images to read more Father's Day stories.

As a Content Screener at, the Guest Book entries that move me the most are the ones that vividly reveal a unique aspect of the deceased or that beautifully reflect their relationship with the person writing about them. With Fathers’ Day approaching, this entry struck me as particularly poignant. 

"I keep his favorite watch on my desk, near his photograph, as a memento of the cherished time we shared. It also serves as a reminder of the time we've lost—a humbling token to appreciate each day with those we love. It was an honor to have known you Dad, and a privilege to be your son. I wanted to say thank you for everything you did for us as we could always count on you for anything. After your lifetime of hard work and achievement, I hope that the shores of Islay offer your soul the peace and rest that you deserve. 

Love always and forever, your son,

'The tide recedes, but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land.
The music stops, yet echoes on
in soulful, sweet refrains.
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.

Christopher Giavarini

This lovely tribute made me reflect on my father and the gifts, both tangible and intangible, that I still carry with me more than sixteen years after his death. It reminded me of a feature that I published about my Dad, simply titled, "In Loving Memory":

What makes a person fall in love with the arts? Other than the arts themselves, (the way they connect to us, connect us with ourselves, each other and our world, the ways they expand our minds and give us joy) there are people and events that foundationally connect us to the creative aspects of our reality. 

For me it started with my parents. Their love of music, visual art, storytelling in so many forms and above all laughter laid the framework for art in my life. 

My father and I shared so much: Boogie Woogie and classical piano music, opera, pop tunes, movies, plays, cartoons, a realistic yet sentimental love for Chicago, contentious trips to the Art Institute resulting in heated debates about art that forced me to learn how to define and defend my ideas at an early age, and of course endless laughter. 

I say endless because although he is gone, I still find myself laughing at his jokes and imagine him laughing with me at so many things. 

As I review hundreds of stage productions I not only imagine the shows that he would love and hate but I imagine his generous laughter and vulnerable tears during the most compelling of productions. Although he is not here to see all of the wonderful theater in Chicago that I am fortunate enough to enjoy, I know that I see these plays, at least in part, through his eyes. I see them with filters and perspectives unique to being the child of both of my parents. 

For those of you who have lost parents, be that recently or in the past, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to you. For those of you who have not yet faced this sadness, I wish you the warmth that you’ll need when the day arrives and the love that you’ll require to weather the storm. 

Sixteen years ago my father died. I wish that I could hear him laugh again and see him crack his signature smile. 

I miss you Dad.

Love Always,

Warmest wishes to all of the fathers and to all of the children who love them. 

Happy Fathers’ Day! 

More Father's Day Stories:

Remembering "Mr. Moms" On Father's Day

Moments with Dad: A Playful Spirit

Famous Fathers Photo Gallery