My Father’s Legacy

This past weekend many of us celebrated Father’s Day. For over 20 years, my family has enjoyed a game of golf and a reunion at my aunt’s cottage, just outside my Dad’s hometown of Waterloo, Ontario. We settled on Father’s Day weekend a few years in, and the date has stuck. I am so glad it has. It makes the weekend even more meaningful, especially since my father passed away 5 years ago.

My father named the event “RFGC”, for “Roberts Family Golf Classic”, and each year, it grew…in heart and in number, as we all began to save the date on our calendars and as my cousins got married and had children.

We all look forward to the event, where we get together to laugh, play, eat, and enjoy one another. This weekend, the venue was changed to my cousin’s hobby farm in Owen Sound, complete with horses and chickens and dogs and Igor, the pot bellied pig. And as many of us were gathered around the table in the gazebo, discussing the origins of the reunion, my mother shared that the first of these gatherings was held in our Waterloo home.

I hadn’t remembered this. In fact, I argued that it wasn’t the case, since there are no pictures in the RFCG scrapbook of this early reunion. My mother reminded me that it was the date of Lady Diana’s death in 1997, and I said that, yes, I recalled a group of us standing in front of the TV watching, jaws dropped, as we learned that our beloved Diana had been tragically killed.

But I hadn’t realized it was also the date these reunions had started.

It was then that my brother said something that resonated. He said something like, “That’s often the way it is. It’s only in hindsight that you realize where things started. It’s like the Stanley Cup…it didn’t start off the way it is now…”

So, while I don’t know much about the history of the Stanley Cup and while we don’t have any documented evidence of those early RFGC gatherings, we all agreed that the seed was planted, right there, in my father’s childhood home; the same place I would also call home for over 17 years.

And after thinking about things for a while, I understood why my mother was so adamant about taking credit for where it originated. It’s because we are all looking for more meaning. My father certainly was, and she knew that better than anyone.

We aren’t born to simply “grow up, pay bills and die”, as they say. We all want to know that our lives have mattered and that we’ve done something here on earth that will leave a lasting legacy.

My mother knew how important leaving a legacy was to him. And I think she wanted us all to know that without his decision to formalize this event and without his foresight to realize how important an annual gathering would be to all of us, we may very well not be doing it every year.

And I realized what a gift he has given us.

All of us.

This ongoing expression of love and community that we all get to experience as a family. Every year, I connect deeper with my loved ones. It’s like peeling away another layer of an onion. This year, I spent several wonderful hours talking with many of the women. I learned things about them I had never known. We laughed and we cried and we strengthened our bond. With logistics and busy lives and crazy schedules all combining to hinder attempts at various get-togethers, we don’t always make time to connect with our loved ones, and this event provides the structure we need to ensure we do our very best to be there.

It gently nudges us to remember the importance of family.

I am so incredibly grateful to my dad for having the foresight to initiate and formalize this event.

Dad, you have left a legacy.

And I feel you with me on the course when I open my bag and see your marked golf balls. I feel you in every crappy tee shot and every decent fairway shot and when I use the putter you gave me. I feel you when we gather in the kitchen and when I talk with the amazing men and women who make up our family and I feel you when I watch the children play.

You did this.

You gave us this.

And I will be forever grateful.

If YOU want to create something lasting, remember that great things start from humble beginnings. As the late Dr. Martin Luther King said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

Because you never know what you might be creating.

Because you never know the legacy you might be leaving.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

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P.P.S. If YOU want to create a new relationship with food, The 6 Week Sugar Freedom eCourse might be for you. You will be surrounded by a group of like-minded people who will support you. I encourage you to join us here

 

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