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  • Alyssa Abrahamson

Remembering My Dad: The Good and the Complexities

Today, June 19, would have been my dad’s 93rd birthday. He died in 2013. This year, as both Father’s Day and his birthday were approaching, I decided to dedicate a podcast about him, reflecting how his views on health impacted me. Here’s a taste.

1. My dad cared about nutrition.

While the messages I received from him about what foods were “healthy” and “allowed,” and what were not, contributed to an unhealthy relationship with food in my teens and 20’s, his focus on nutrition encouraged me to be mindful of my choices as I grew older.

2. My dad enjoyed cooking for us.

I have fond childhood memories of my dad grilling burgers on Saturday nights during the summer. My family enjoyed many summer evenings together, sitting on our yellow patio furniture and eating those delicious grilled burgers. I’d love to grill burgers with my dad again. 

3. My dad and I grocery shopped together. 

I love grocery stores and food shopping. I think it’s because I always accompanied my dad to the grocery store. Even though it was sometimes frustrating because he would choose the “healthier” options and I wanted all “junk food,” our grocery store outings were a bonding experience. 

4. My dad prioritized physical activity. 

My childhood was filled with fun activities with my dad: bike rides, playing basketball, swimming, boating, and skiing. He was a runner, speed walker, and loved bicycling. In his 70’s he started a pilates practice. Impressive! 

5. My dad was a reader, traveler, and writer. 

My dad loved history and biographies and traveled the world with his career. He loved writing and as he got older he wrote poetry and short essays about his travels. I love and admire that he was intellectual, adventurous, and engaged in creative activities that brought him healing and joy.

6. My dad was an optimist. 

My dad tended to “look on the bright side of things.” Even when he was struggling, he maintained a positive outlook, which made an impression on my way of thinking. 

As I think of my dad on his birthday, I acknowledge that my relationship with him was complicated, and while I hold frustration, grief, and guilt, I also hold forgiveness, love, compassion, and forgiveness in my heart for him and our relationship.

Happy Birthday, Poppy. 

I’d love to hear about your dad. I invite you to comment and share what comes up.

Love, Your Wellness Coach,


P.S. For the bigger picture, listen to episode 182, Remembering My Dad: The Good and the Complexities.”​

June 19, 2024

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