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Don't wait to tell dad how you feel
Kristinas dad
Journal editor Kristina Hacker helps her dad, Jack Stout, polish his shoes 'sometime' in the 1970s. - photo by Photo Contributed

Father's Day is a sad time for me. It's been almost 15 years since my dad passed away and I can't help but think about all the things I never got to tell him.

I never got to thank him for teaching me how to pitch a tent, start a campfire and catch a fish — all things I plan to pass on to my grandson.

Thanks to my dad, I am partial to sports cars, jazz and James Bond movies. I also know the words to every Neil Diamond song and have even seen him in concert with my dad.

A clear blue sky always reminds me of the many air shows I attended with my dad, from the famous Blue Angels to model airplane events. I still feel bad about the time I flew his brand new remote control airplane into the neighbor's house.

 I also never got to tell my father that because of him and his stories of playing the trumpet in the Army and at Purdue University, I have an appreciation for music — even though both my piano and clarinet playing is mediocre at best.

There are also the deeper things that I never got to tell my dad, like how I know how much he loved me even though those were words he rarely said.

I knew it by the way he sang "You Are My Sunshine" whenever I was sick in bed.

I knew it by the way he enjoyed spending time with me and hearing about my teenage hopes and fears.

I knew it by the way he accepted me for who I was, faults and all.

The relationship I had with my father was not ideal — and even broken at times. It is my biggest regret that I don't remember our last conversation before he died. But if I could talk to my dad one last time, it wouldn't be to rehash old arguments. I would, instead, thank him for all the things that he did to help make me the person I am today.

If on this Father's Day you are able to speak to the one you call 'dad', don't waste the opportunity to tell him how much he means to you. You never know how many conservations you have left.