American poet Anne Sexton once said, “It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
Father’s Day is coming up. What memories come to mind when you think about a father figure in your life? Maybe your birth father wasn’t a significant part of your life, but another person—a grandfather, a teacher, a pastor, a neighbor, or even a celebrity— stood in as a father figure for you in some way. Can you write about one memory you have of your father figure that shows us who he was? Use details to set the scene and show us, rather than tell us, what he was like or why that moment was particularly memorable for you. What does that memory tell you about the type of man, and father figure, he is or was?
For example, maybe you vividly remember watching him fix his car. Where was he fixing it? What kind of car was it? What was he wearing? All of those details will reveal aspects of your father figure’s values and lifestyle. Did he curse and throw his tools in frustration, or was he calm and meticulous? Did he invite you to help and tell funny stories while he worked, or did he prefer to quietly focus on the task at hand? Those details will show who your father figure was without simply saying, “I remember that he was a tidy, quiet man who always wished he could provide more for his family.”